A Less Stressful Way to Pass the Time During an MRI

Jul 26, 2017

Mercy Children’s Hospital and Clinics in the Des Moines metro are the first in the state to offer something called Cinemavision for young patients undergoing MRIs. The children can now watch movies to distract them from the medical procedure they’re experiencing.

Kathryn Christy wears a pair of Cinemavision goggles and she prepares to enter the MRI machine.
Credit Rob Dillard, Iowa Public Radio / Iowa Public Radio

Fourteen-year-old Kathryn Christy of Johnston has been inside an MRI machine plenty of times since being diagnosed with a brain tumor when she was ten. Up until now, she’s relied on general anesthesia to ease her anxiety. The last 90-minute-long scan was different. She watched the movie “Pitch Perfect.”

“It was really exciting because I was stepping out of my comfort zone and I could just enjoy watching a movie I love instead of having to worry about being in a machine or having anesthesia,” she says.

Kathryn's mother, Jen, says she noticed a change in her daughter ahead of the last MRI scan.

“The drive down to the hospital in advance of these has been really tough for her, she’s very nervous, and this time knowing she was going to be trying something new I think really helped take the pressure off and the anxiety away,” she says.

Mercy bought three pair of Cinemavision goggles with a grant from the Children’s Charity of Iowa. Since February, more than 100 pediatric patients have worn them to take their minds off some very long medical tests.