Superheroes swoop in and battle MRI’s. In this Health and Medicine Report, our Shazia Khan explains how Captain America is giving young patients courage at the hospital.
6-year-old Jade Reejhsinghani was nervous when she learned she needed an MRI of her foot.
“Cause I didn’t like know what it was,” she says.
Jade’s fear and anxiety are all too common among kids who need an MRI, which requires patients to lie still for 20 to 30 minutes.
“In order for kids to be cooperative with it, many of them require sedation so they can endure both the loud noises that it makes, but also the dark closed spaces that MRI’s sometimes involve,” says Dr. Robert Min, chairman of Radiology at Weill Cornell Medical College.
However, Dr. Min says sedation comes with risks such as nausea, grogginess and in some cases, even problems with breathing.
To reduce the number of kids undergoing sedation for an MRI, he teamed up with Marvel Comics to make the experience more educational and fun.
A superhero kit was assembled with an educational video for kids, a costume and a comic book starring Captain America, who injures his shoulder and – you guessed it – needs an MRI.
“He is a little apprehensive as many people are, but a young girl who just finished getting her MRI notices that and ends up helping Captain America, a superhero, go through with the MRI,” says Dr. Min.
Captain America’s courage helped Jade feel more comfortable about her own MRI, which she underwent without sedation.
“It helped me because it showed how he did it,” she says.
“I just think it’s important for young girls or little boys to have a sense of empowerment when it comes to taking control of something in their life,” says Jane’s mother Cindy Reejhsinghani.
The superhero experience can boost a child’s confidence and can last well after the MRI is over.
As for Jade, her medical mission is not over. She will likely undergo surgery on her foot and will once again need her superhero strength, courage, and of course cape to get through it.