New York-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital has recently made some big equipment changes to ease children’s nerves upon visiting their doctor. The hospital’s new pirate-themed computed tomography (CT) scanner in the radiology department is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also a lot safer.
A CT scan is made up of a series of X-ray photos taken from different angles that create a cross-sectional image of bones and soft tissue. It is primarily used for internal injuries, such as heart defects and brain trauma.
The only downside to having a CT scan is that the patient is exposed to a significant amount of radiation compared to an X-ray. Representatives from the hospital say this particular CT scanner manufactured by General Electric emits the lowest dose of radiation.
“These are children who will need monitoring for a long time, so the dose can be substantial scan after scan,” the hospital’s chief of pediatric radiology, Dr. Carrie Ruzal-Shapiro, told ABC News. “The quality of the images has been excellent for the low dose. And that, for me sitting behind the screen, is the most important thing.”
Ruzal-Shapiro also pointed to a study conducted by the hospital that claims even small doses of radiation can result in cancer development 30 to 40 years down the line. The radiology department conducts five to 10 scans each day on patients up to 21 years old.
“It allows children to imagine all sorts of things. So it doesn’t seem like a horrible, scary chore.” Ruzal-Shapiro told the New York Daily News. “The teens roll their eyes at the cat with an eyepatch and the hippo mermaid, but they like it as much as the kids.”