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MRI Scan for children


MRI Scan - The Space Capsule TestShow [+]Hide [-]

In an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan, complicated pictures are made by using a combination of magnetic fields, radiowaves and a powerful computer, not x-rays. This test shows up much more detail than plain x-rays. 

  • In an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan, complicated pictures are made by using a combination of magnetic fields, radiowaves and a powerful computer, not xrays. This test shows up much more detail than plain x-rays. In order to pick up the radiowaves, an aerial-like device is positioned around or adjacent to the area of the body under investigation. The whole scan can take up to 30 minutes to complete, during which time the child must keep very still. Children up to the age of five to six years usually have a general anaesthetic or sedation. If your child does require a general anaesthetic then your child should not have anything substantial to eat or drink for over six hours before and only clear fluids up to 2 hours before. Children having sedation should not be fasted prior to attending hospital
  • For older children, one or both parents can be present in the scan room at all times, assuming that you satisfy our safety questionnaire. Your child may be a little frightened when inside the tunnel, but you can reassure your child that you are close, by holding onto a hand or foot. You must not take anything metal, your watch or credit cards into the room.
  • For children not needing a general anaesthetic, we do not need them to be starved, however, if they are an in-patient then the ward may want them to be starved for other reasons. 
  • In some cases, the Radiologist may want to inject a special contrast agent or ‘dye’ to show up blood vessels. This ‘dye’ is extremely safe and should not affect your child. If your child has their own favourite music or story on a CD, then please bring it along and we can play it through the headphones, which we use to reduce the noise.

What are the benefits of having an MRI scan?Show [+]Hide [-]

This test will give the doctor much more detail of the area(s) being scanned than a plain x-ray and also, there is no radiation involved.

Are there any risks of having an MRI scan?Show [+]Hide [-]

There are no risks involved.

Are there any side effects of having an MRI scan?Show [+]Hide [-]

There are no side effects.

ResultsShow [+]Hide [-]

The results of this examination will be sent to your child's hospital consultant in the next 7 – 10 days, and s/he will contact you, either by appointment or letter.

More informationShow [+]Hide [-]

Contact details

Enquiries - Please ring the appropriate hospital department, as below, that your child is attending between 8.45am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday:

MRI Appointments only:

  • RVI 0191 282 4330
  • Freeman Hospital 0191 223 7778

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