Tag Archives: mri claustrophobia

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MRI Fears: Relieving MRI Claustrophobia

 

MRI Fears

 

 

 

Claustrophobia affects many people’s daily life. Those who suffer from this phobia can find MRI’s to be a nightmare. We understand claustrophobic patients can find it difficult to overcome their MRI anxieties, but we have offered a few ways that can put you at ease when undergoing an MRI.

1) Consider drug therapy. This is only appropriate for extreme circumstances where a patient believes that their claustrophobia will legitimately keep them from completing an MRI procedure. Drugs should be temporary, used only for the procedure, prescribed by a doctor and also approved by the facility doing the MRI.

2) Think about herbal remedies. There are a lot of natural herbal medicines that help ease the anxiety caused by claustrophobia. Two of the most effective herbs are passionflower and kava. These can be taken as tablets or capsules, or used in teas and tinctures as well.

3) Use various relaxation techniques. If you start to panic, breathe in through your nose for ten seconds and then exhale through your mouth for ten more seconds. Continue the pattern to help slow your heart rate. Try to think about happy or relaxing things while you’re in the MRI machine as well. Our centers also allow you to listen to music during your procedure, which is a great distraction for patients and can help keep them feeling calm and relaxed.

4) Have a friend in the room. If you’re feeling nervous, it always helps to have someone in the room with you. Our technologists are always available to sit with patients during their procedures, to hold their hands, or even just to keep up a conversation with them during the procedure.

5) Find an alternative machine. If you suffer from claustrophobia, it’s highly recommended that you have your MRI procedure at a facility that has open MRI machines. Rather than placing your head inside a small tube, open MRI machines provide much more space for patients. You can see the difference in the images below. The first one is a traditional closed MRI machine, the second is an open MRI machine.

Fortunately for you, we utilize Open MRI technology for all of our scans. Open MRI scanners offer a more comfortable MRI experience for patients who suffer from claustrophobia. If you have any concerns about your appointment, give us a call or let one of our technicians know so we can provide you with a comfortable experience.

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Tweeting can change your MRI experience!

 

Twitter is a pretty awesome thing. It’s a platform that lets us communicate with our friends, share what we’re doing, express how we feel, comment on current events, and incite laughter. It’s where we can (and usually do) share about absolutely anything and everything we are experiencing.

It turns out that sometimes this information can actually be useful, and in ways you probably wouldn’t ever imagine. Researchers and doctors around the world are turning to Twitter to learn more about the MRI experience from a patient perspective, and they’re using what they find to change their MRI process.

It all started when Jonathan Hewis, an investigator from Charles Sturt University in Australia, decided to start analyzing tweets related to MRI. He found that patients, friends, and family were all using Twitter to share their thoughts and feelings about many different aspects of the procedure including the MRI appointment, scan experience, and diagnosis.

 

Some people tweeted sentiments of support to their friends who were having MRI’s, some patients used Twitter to praise their healthcare team or talk about their MRI results, and many others tweeted specifics about what they enjoyed or disliked about their MRI experience. There were also an overwhelming amount of “MRI gown selfies” added to the mix.

So why do doctors want you to tweet about your MRI experience? Because it helps provide insight that they wouldn’t normally be able to get. It’s a way for them to understand what patients like and dislike about the process, and it can give them tips for changes to make that will improve patient experience.

For example, one of the biggest things that Hewis found patients were complaining about was the fact that they weren’t able to pick what type of music they listened to during the scan, something that’s such a small fix and goes a long way towards making the experience more enjoyable for the patient. Many centers, just like Open MRI of Pueblo, have responded to feedback like this, and allow patients to bring in their own ipod or CD of music to listen to during the scan.

The fact of the matter is, we want you to have the best MRI experience you can possibly have, and if there are things we can do to help make that happen then we want to do them! So if you had a bad experience or if you think there’s room for improvement to the MRI process, tweet about it. Chances are someone will see it and take action. You can share your experience by tweeting to us @open_mri_pueblo.

You can read more about the findings of the original research on Biospace.