(Ichilov Hospital) (Ichilov Hospital)
baby and mother in MRI

No love in the world like a mother’s love: In order to avoid having to anesthetize a baby, Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv did the MRI on an awake 6-month-old while his mother held him in the diagnostic machine.

By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel

Little Yuval Mantiband doesn’t know it, but at the tender age of six months he’s something of a celebrity in the medical world.

Yuval and his mother Michal made a bit of history when the two of them slid into an MRI machine at Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital. Holding and soothing her baby while the MRI machine whirred and hummed allowed doctors to perform the examination without having to give Yuval a general anesthetic.

“Ichilov is the first hospital in the world that initiated imaging tests for children without the use of anesthesia,” explained Dr. Liat Ben-Sira, director of Ichilov Medical Center’s Pediatric Radiology Unit. “This is an initiative of our amazing radiologists, and it only comes on the merit of dedicated parents who enter the machine for many long minutes together with those who mean the most to them.”

Michal said she had read about a father who entered an MRI with his two-and-a-half-year-old daughter so that she didn’t have to be sedated.

“I immediately knew that I would do that with my Yuval, who has already undergone head surgery and two anesthesias. I wanted to prevent him from undergoing an additional anesthesia,” she said.

To date, standard practice for a child under the age of eight to get an MRI is to put them under anesthesia, due to the assumption that the child is incapable of remaining still for the duration of the test.

“This is a revolution that is garnering the world’s attention, and I believe that within a short time, the necessity to anesthetize children in order to perform imaging tests will be drastically reduced,” Dr. Ben-Sira said.

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