Background: While sedation is necessary for much pediatric imaging, there are new alternatives that may help patients hold still without medication.
Objective: We examined the effect of an audio/visual system consisting of video goggles and earphones on the need for sedation during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Materials and methods: All MRI examinations from May 1999 to October 1999 performed after installation of the MRVision 2000 (Resonance Technology, Inc.) were compared to the same 6-month period in 1998. Imaging and sedation protocols remained constant. Data collected included: patient age, type of examination, use of intravenous contrast enhancement, and need for sedation. The average supply charge and nursing cost per sedated patient were calculated.
Results: The 955 patients from 1998 and 1,112 patients from 1999 were similar in demographics and examination distribution. There was an overall reduction in the percent of patients requiring sedation in the group using the video goggle system from 49 to 40% (P < 0.001). There was no significant change for 0-2 years (P = 0.805), but there was a reduction from 53 to 40% for age 3-10 years (P < 0.001) and 16 to 8% for those older than 10 years (P < 0.001). There was a 17% decrease in MRI room time for those patients whose examinations could be performed without sedation. Sedation costs per patient were $80 for nursing and $29 for supplies.
Conclusion: The use of this video system reduced the number of children requiring sedation for MRI examination by 18%. In addition to reducing patient risk, this can potentially reduce cost.