A children’s hospital has installed a miniature scanner for soft toys to reassure young patients preparing for MRI or CT scans.
Around a fifth of children who need scans are put under general anaesthetic due to anxieties about the procedure and staff at Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Children hope the ‘kitten scanner’ can help reduce fears.
A number of animal toys can be placed under the scanner to trigger a story explaining how the scan works and why it is needed. The scan then shows the ‘insides’ of the toy to help children understand.
It was funded by the Hamilton branch of HSBC Bank where staff raised £25,000 for a series of enhancements to the hospital’s imaging preparation suite.
Walter Trotter, whose daughter Amelie needed a general anaesthetic before a scan, believes the toy version will make a big difference.
“When we first attended the hospital Amelie was just three and, as you can imagine, she was petrified of the scan and the scanner itself,” Mr Trotter said.
“This meant most of her scans were being carried out under general anaesthetic, resulting in long days in hospital and a stressful time for everyone.
“There is an obvious benefit to get the kids to a stage when a general anaesthetic is not required, and I’m sure this equipment will be very much appreciated by everyone who benefits.”
Kirsten Sinclair, director of fundraising at Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity, praised the HSBC staff.
She said: “The whole team have really got behind our charity partnership, and have thrown themselves into their fundraising endeavours with real enthusiasm.
“These enhancements to the imaging and preparation suite will help thousands of children each year, making an immediate difference to their experience in hospital.”
Alison McGregor, chief executive of HSBC Scotland, said: “The staff at the HSBC Hamilton Contact Centre are proud to have had the opportunity to support this very worthwhile charity and the thousands of children and their families who will have access to the imaging preparation suite.”