Barcelona hospital turns MRI into a space adventure for children

Posted Sep 20, 2014 by Anne Sewell
Being examined by an MRI machine tends to be scary for everyone, but particularly so for children. A hospital in Barcelona has come up with a high-tech and novel solution by turning the MRI room into a space wonderland.
When participating in a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examination, it is necessary to keep completely still. For babies and children, this is difficult at the best of times, and almost impossible in a medical scenario. The treatment can also have occasional side effects on children's health, including dizziness and nausea and due to these various problems, children often need to be sedated while undergoing the session.
However, the hospital has managed to reduce the use of anesthetic for its younger patients by 18 percent using a new and novel way of calming their nerves.
The hospital has teamed up with the printing and IT multinational company HP to produce colorful and fun designs, making not only the MRI room, but the whole of the pediatrics unit, into a futuristic and fun space center.
Doctor Terasa Maristany of Barcelona’s Sant Joan de Déu hospital told the Catalan newspaper El Periódico (Spanish language), “Radiology units are very intimidating for children, they feel anxious and don’t cooperate,” adding, “We used to have to sedate them to carry out the tests but now the kids are fascinated, more cooperative and aren’t as scared.”
HP communications manager, Eva Blanco, says in the video above that they wanted to make the children believe they were a member of the crew, getting ready to enter a spaceship for an exciting journey into space.
HP has used the very latest in latex printing to transform the once plain and white walls into a myriad of images with stars, astronauts and planets.
With the hospital performing around 6,000 MRIs and 5,000 CT scans on children and adolescents each year, this can only be a help in making the experience more pleasurable.
Even adults would probably find this far more calming than the usual glaring white walls.
More information about the printing process can be read in the description beneath the above video on YouTube.