Imaginary creatures help children stay still in MRI


With their long snouts and curly antennae, the Magnet Manikins can ease small children through the anxiety of a MR exam by explaining the basic principles of the modality in a whimsical setting.

Gabi Salomonowitz, a radiological technologist at the Akademie der Universitatskliniken in Vienna, Austria said she was inspired to create the booklet after noticing that many patient-friendly MRI guides were still quite technical.

"Several booklets on MR exist and they all try to explain the physics of MRI," she said. "My booklet lets the reader into a fantasy world ... to make MR understandable. The 'little patient' doesn't need to know much further information."

In this story, the Magnet Manikins are small creatures who inhabit the equipment and are released during the procedure. Preparation, contraindications and the course of the examination are described.

In the end, if the patient remains still during imaging, the Manikins leap around with joy; if not, the drawing depicts the creatures looking downtrodden because they weren't able to do their job.

Salomonowitz said she targeted the book for "patients aged 4 to 120 years."

Available in English and German, The Story of the Magnet Manikins can be ordered through the Wilhelm Maudrich Verlag Medical Book Store in Austria at [email protected]

The ISBN number is 3-851785-739-4. The booklet retails for about 298 Austrian shillings or approximately $20. A stuffed Magnet Manikin toy can be purchased by contacting [email protected].

By Shalmali Pal staff writer
April 21, 2000

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