Imagine asking a 6-year-old to lie still for 15-30 minutes while closed off inside a tube.
Yeah, I can’t either, which is why many doctors have to rely on full sedation with anesthesia to get high-quality images when it comes to kids, adding a real health risk to an otherwise safe procedure (unlike a CT scan, there’s no ionizing radiation with MRI—it’s all magnetic).
Enter the high-field open MRI by Hitachi. Dr. Jack Considine, radiologist at Coastal Imaging, which has the only MRI of this kind in Savannah, calls it a “game-changer” for the city, providing the highest-quality imaging and surgical-quality studies, all while making the procedure more comfortable for young patients.
As opposed to the conventional “tube,” Considine describes the open MRI as being similar to lying between two slices of bread. “The tube can be pretty intimidating for a small child,” Considine says. “But because ours is open with full access all around it, both parents can be in the room, leaning in and talking to the child, even holding their hand.”
If necessary, a parent can even lie down next to the child during the procedure.
Considine notes that the open MRI doesn’t just benefit pediatric patients—it’s more comfortable for any patient who might feel anxious in the tube MRI. Additionally, because the machine can hold upwards of 600 pounds, larger patients finally have access to high-quality imaging. A game-changer indeed.