August 27, 2013 – Old and young patients at New York-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital are both going crackers about their new pirate-themed CT scanner!
CT scanners are used to find tumours, heart defects, and other trauma inside the body that doctors can't see with only their eyes.
The scanner is in a room decorated with wavy floors and cartoon animals and trees on the wall, which all serve to distract the patient from where they are for a few minutes. "Being in a hospital is a difficult experience," said Dr, Carrie Ruzal-Shapiro, the director of pediatric radiology. "To be distracted by an adventure like going out to sea and meeting a monkey or pirate kitty lets you leave the scary environment for a little bit."
A state inspector was very impressed by the ship scanner on a recent visit and Dr. Ruzal-Shapiro said that even grown-ups have asked to take this scanner for a test run!
The hospital had a choice of the pirate-themed scanner or an underwater-themed one. They ended up with the pirate one mostly because it has a very low radiation dose. "These are children who will need monitoring for a long time, so the dose [of radiation] can be [very high] scan after scan."
Even though the radiation dose is low the quality of the images it produces meets Dr. Ruzal-Shapiro's standards. "That, for me sitting behind the screen, is the most important thing."