Having a Scan
More and more doctors are calling for scans to aid diagnosis.
These are super-efficient, but the machinery can look frightening, especially for an MRI Scan, where you slide head-first into a tunnel. The tunnel is in the middle of the machine with the wrap-around walls containing very, very complex engineering.
The staff are there to push patients through as quickly as possible. So if you have problems it is best to phone the department BEFORE you arrive, so they know you can’t just be shoved through on the production line.
1. You have to lie on a very hard metal table/bed, sometimes for an hour or more.
If you have difficulty in lying on the table, take your own pillows, equipment with you.
Response make a very good, suitable cushion. It is an easily portable inflatable clear plastic cushion, which covers most of spine area.
It costs £75 but you should be able to get this free from OT – although in some areas it takes a bit of persuasion.
2. If you need to take pain relief
take this with you. ]
I played by rules, phoned the hospital doctor to explain I couldn’t lie for long enough on my back, She said she would have a pill waiting.
It didn’t work, and had to abort scan; as I climbed out she angrily said “I gave you a pill to stop your claustrophobia” . She hadn’t listened to a word I’d said.
3. Don’t rely on the hospital eto provide foam cushions etc.
Siemens are one of biggest machinery makers, and they make excellent cushions for our use when having scans, but NHS won’t pay for them.
4. Do contact staff in advance – I usually phone 3 – 5 days in advance.
Explain what medical conditions I have that make it painful to lie on the hard scanner bed – and list what would be helpful and/or tell them what I am bringing in.
This gives them a chance to have extra antiseptic stuff available,etc.