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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 June 2006, 17:04 GMT 18:04 UK
Less anaesthetic with new scanner
David Fraser
David Fraser with the current scanner he uses in Edinburgh
Children who need body scans are less likely to be put under anaesthetic when a new scanner arrives at Edinburgh's Royal Hospital for Sick Children.

A new CT scanner, which works much faster than previous equipment, means young patients will be required to remain still for shorter periods.

As a result most children will be able to remain conscious while in the scanner, which is installed in October.

Side effects of general anaesthetics are rare but can cause headaches.

Very distressing

The new CT scanner was paid for by supporters of the Sick Kids Friends Foundation charity and cost 535,000.

David Fraser's three year-old son, also David, currently has to be anaesthetised for scanning to monitor his condition, bronchiolitis obliterans, an unusual condition where the lungs have been severely damaged by a virus.

His condition is regularly monitored using CT scans.

Mr Fraser, from Granton, Edinburgh, said: "You can't help worrying when David has to be put under for his CT scan.

There are risks associated with general anaesthesia, so it is better to avoid its use where possible
Dr Maeve McPhillips
Royal Hospital for Sick Children

"It's very distressing. This new equipment will make a massive difference and mean David doesn't have to go through that experience anymore."

Dr Maeve McPhillips, Royal Hospital for Sick Children consultant paediatric radiologist, said: "At present, a quarter of children and young people undergoing CT scanning require a general anaesthesia, as they cannot stay still, or hold their breath, for the length of time that is needed for the scan.

"The latest generation of CT scanners are so much faster that scans can be done in under a minute.

"There will be much less need for anaesthesia and breathless respiratory or young oncology patients can still have scans showing excellent detail.

21st Century care

"There are risks associated with general anaesthesia, so it is better to avoid its use where possible."

Brian Cavanagh, the chairman of NHS Lothian, said they were delighted to be able to invest in the most modern technology to assist our healthcare professionals in the provision of "21st Century care".

"We are also grateful to the Sick Kids Friends Foundation, our long-time supporters of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, for their continued backing in ensuring the Royal Hospital for Sick Children remains one of Scotland's centres of excellence in caring for children," he added.

Graeme Millar, the chairman of the Sick Kids Friends Foundation, said: "We are very grateful to the public who are helping us to raise the funds needed for this project and delighted to provide this new technology."

High-tech CT scanner for hospital
17 Dec 04 |  Northamptonshire

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