At hospitals around the world, specialists are finding creative ways to make their youngest patients more comfortable and relaxed. The approach has a bigger payoff than simply keeping kids quiet and happy. Calmer, less traumatized kids come through the hospital experience healthier. They tend to need less pain medication, are less likely to need sedation for procedures and are less likely to react badly to chemicals needed for imaging tests, experts say.
Newer usually means better; however, in the case of MRs, newer also means noisier. Because of their more powerful gradient coils, newer MRs on the market generate more acoustic noise than older systems. Therefore, the importance of shielding for that noise has become much more prominent in recent years—a fact recognized by Chris Tomlinson, radiology imagining director at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).
When he started receiving complaints from other areas of the hospital regarding the loud noises from the MR scanners, he knew he needed to take action. “When you put an MR in—if you’re not shielding it—you can definitely have some complaints from neighbors,” he says. Those “neighbors” may be just on the other side of the wall or even on another floor of the hospital.
Additionally, Tomlinson was concerned with the impact the MR noise had on the young patients at his hospital. The mere thought of being sent through an MR machine can be terrifying for anyone, but especially so for a young child. Hearing the noises coming from the machine ahead of time only exacerbates that fear and worry. “In this day, when we’re trying to provide a really positive patient experience and [they] sit in the waiting room and hear all these high-pitched and varied MR noises—it’s a real challenge,” he states.
A few MR shielding companies, including IMEDCO America Ltd., now offer solutions for this problem. CHOP installed IMEDCO SilentSHIELD doors and shields in all nine of their MR suites.
“The recognition that this is a problem is now kind of putting more architects on the hook for determining the smartest way to reduce that noise from penetrating the walls into the adjacent space,” says Michael Krachon, director of IMEDCO.
Aside from the noise problem, another issue CHOP dealt with was how to scan patients who needed to be connected to an IV. In the past, a patient either had to be disconnected from the IV, or a facility had to purchase expensive MR-compatible infusion pumps. But a new technique allows the patient to remain connected to the IV without having to bring it inside of the room.
“What has come of interest is a way to allow the patient to remain attached to the machines while allowing the machine to remain outside,” says Krachon. Consequently, IMEDCO created the Pass-thru IV Door Waveguide—a portal built into the door. The waveguide is itself welded into the frame so that it is seamlessly integrated and can be conductively attached to the door when it is closed. The IV lines are then put through the waveguides when the door is open, and then, when it’s closed, the waveguides are enclosed and protected.
CHOP installed the IMEDCO IV Waveguides in their MR suites, helping greatly improve both productivity and patient safety. “Here you have this waveguide in the door, and you just tuck the tubes, and you’re done,” says Tomlinson. “You’re not unhooking anything, so it’s great for time and patient safety.”
Krachon says that although the first prototypes were installed about a decade ago, the waveguide has become more popular over the past couple of years. He attributes the increased interest to the clinical importance of keeping certain patients—especially neonatal intensive care and pediatrics patients—connected to the IV source. The waveguide also eliminates the need to purchase high cost MR-compatible infusion pumps.
At IMEDCO, our dedication to our clients is of great importance. We fully understand our product, the needs of the MR products we shield, and the needs of the customers we serve. In the case of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, patient safety and experience were greatly improved, and we clearly have another satisfied customer.
If you are interested in finding out more about us or the products and services IMEDCO offers, contact us today at 317-773-8500.