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Effects of an MRI Try Without program on patient access



Pediatric patients are often sedated for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to ensure images are of diagnostic quality. However, access time for MRIs requiring sedation is often long due to high patient volumes and limited sedation resources.


This study examined the effectiveness of an MRI Try Without sedation program to decrease the wait time for obtaining an MRI while simultaneously ensuring diagnostic-quality images.

Materials and methods

A retrospective chart review was performed on subjects who utilized the MRI Try Without program from April 2014 through June 2015 at a dedicated pediatric institution. Child life specialist preparations and access time (i.e. time from exam ordered to exam completed) were recorded in each patient’s electronic medical record. MRI images were evaluated for image quality by a pediatric neuroradiologist.


A total of 134 patients participated in the MRI Try Without program (mean age: 6.9±1.7 years), all of whom received interventions from a child life specialist. The average number of days between when the order was placed and when the MRI was completed using the MRI Try Without program was 15.4±18.5 days, while the third-available appointment for sedation/anesthesia was 46.2 days (standard deviation [SD]±15.7 days). Nearly all patients received a “good” or “very good” image quality determination (87.3%) and only 5 (3.8%) patients were recommended for repeat examination for diagnostic-quality images.


Utilization of an MRI Try Without sedation program, with child life specialist interventions, decreased the wait time for obtaining an MRI while still providing diagnostic-quality images.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The authors acknowledge the assistance of Melissa Pulis, Susan McElroy, Susan Teasley and Robert Smock, all of Children’s Mercy Kansas City, in formulating our study questions and design. We acknowledge Kimberly Reid for statistical support. We acknowledge the Medical Writing Center at Children’s Mercy Kansas City for its critical review and revision suggestions.

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Correspondence to Barbra S. Rudder.

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Rudder, B.S., Easley, S.J., Robinson, A.L. et al. Effects of an MRI Try Without program on patient access. Pediatr Radiol 49, 1712–1717 (2019).

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  • Access
  • Anesthesia
  • Child life specialist
  • Children
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Sedation