"MRI scan: My experience"

About: Corbett Hospital

My experience yesterday, was not a pleasant one, regretfully, in the mobile unit near the car park. I was under the impression that I would be in the tunnel for about ten minutes, however this was not the case. I had no idea how noisy the machine would be, and the headphones were absolutely useless, with unclear distorted music? Potentially, blocking out clear contact from the radiologists. The noise was like a rifle bombardment from WW1! The information provided prior to the appointment says to 'bring your own CD', which I did but was told that the headphones would be used and assumed that the CD was no longer an option, then? I did not have anything to cover my eyes either. I am not usually claustrophobic, but was beginning to feel so; the length of time I was there for. Having waited about 2 months for this scan, I'm quite relieved that it's over and now wait around 2 weeks for the result, it seems. If I need one in the future, I will seriously consider paying for the experience and maybe have it done promptly and comfortably. This surely should not be the case, for patients needing this form of analysis?

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Response from Corbett Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to give us feedback about your visit to Corbett Outpatient Centre. We are sorry to hear you had such an unpleasant experience. MRI scanners are very noisy and it is not uncommon for some patients to find them claustrophobic. The noise level and estimated time the scan will take is included in the patient information leaflet you refer to. We advise that a scan can take between 15 and 30 minutes. We must stress that this is only an estimate: sometimes examinations need to be extended to make sure the images taken are of a good enough quality to use for diagnosis. We are sorry if the radiographers did not keep you informed of their progress during your scan. We offer headphones because, as you rightly say, the scanner is very noisy. We would like to reassure you that if the radiographers needed to speak to you during the scan, they would have been able to do so. We ask patients to bring their own CDs so that their own music can be played through the headphones provided. We are sorry your own CD wasn’t played. The headphones used in the scanner are quite basic due to the need to restrict the amount of metal inside the scanner so not to affect the imaging quality. This, combined with the loud environment, means that music can sometimes sound distorted. We always try our best to make patients as comfortable as possible and, if requested, patients can be given something to cover their eyes while they are in the scanner. We are sorry if you were not made aware of this at your appointment. We have passed all your comments on to the managers responsible for MRI scanning who will raise your comments with the team involved in your care. We welcome all feedback and would like to assure you that all comments are taken seriously and acted upon as part of our ongoing commitment to improving patient experience.

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