Virtual MRI intended to reduce need for sedation in children

KENDALL, Fla. – A hospital in South Florida has developed a new way to help children who may be afraid of undergoing MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

In an effort to keep children quiet and calm during the noisy and lengthy procedure, Baptist Health’s Miami Cancer Institute has developed what is called a virtual MRI.

Children are given headsets that create a so-called high-tech distraction therapy through a game that rewards them for staying quiet.

“We are revolutionizing medicine where wearable technologies come into play on a daily basis and this is a device that brings virtual reality into the clinic to effectively reduce the use of sedation and anesthesia for young children and even older adults who are very stressed. and may feel anxious going through a procedure,” said Dr. Minesh Mehta, chief of the Radiation Oncology Department.


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

The National Institutes of Health reports that use of MRI in children has grown steadily at eight to nine percent per year.

And a meta-analysis examining the effects of long-term use of marine omega-3 fatty acids found that these supplements may actually increase the risk of atrial fibrillation, an abnormal heart rhythm characterized by a fast and irregular heartbeat.

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

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