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Virtual MRI intended to reduce need for sedation in children

A South Florida hospital has created a novel way to help children who can be frightened by the process of undergoing MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
A South Florida hospital has created a novel way to help children who can be frightened by the process of undergoing MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

KENDALL, Fla. – A South Florida hospital has created a novel way to help children who can be frightened by the process of undergoing MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

In an effort to keep children still and calm during the noisy and lengthy procedure, Baptist Health’s Miami Cancer Institute has developed what specialists call a Virtual MRI.

Children are fitted with headsets that create what could be called high tech distraction therapy through a game that rewards them for staying still.

“In the field of medicine we’re going through a revolution where wearable technologies are coming into play on a daily basis and this is a device that brings virtual reality into the clinic to effectively decrease the rate of utilization of sedation and anesthesia for young children and even older adults who might be very stressed and anxious when going through a procedure,” said Dr. Minesh Mehta, Chief of Radiation Oncology.

The Miami Cancer Institute developed the device in conjunction with a California company and has now successfully used it on more than a dozen patients.

The National Institutes of Health reports that the use of MRI among children has grown at a steady rate of eight to nine percent a year.

And a meta-analysis investigating the effects of long-term use of marine omega-three fatty acids found that these supplements may actually increase the risk of atrial fibrillation, ab abnormal heart rhythm characterized by rapid and irregular heartbeat.

While some clinical trials have shown heart protective benefits from fish oil supplementation, the recent findings reported in the journal Circulation concluded the risk for A-fib appears to increase with higher doses.


About the Authors:

Kristi Krueger has built a solid reputation as an award-winning medical reporter and effervescent anchor. She joined Local 10 in August 1993. After many years co-anchoring the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Kristi now co-anchors the noon newscasts, giving her more time in the evening with her family.

Veteran journalist Kathleen Corso is the special projects producer for Local 10 News.