Undergoing a computed tomography scan can be a scary experience for anyone, but it can be especially frightening for children. In light of this, Chicago Advocate Lutheran General Children's Hospital and Royal Philips Electronics this week announced the opening of the world's first Ambient Experience pediatric radiology suite. This Philips suite is designed to create a soothing environment that enables children to relax while undergoing computed tomography (CT) scans.
"The goal of the Ambient Experience CT suite is to give control of the radiology environment to young patients to alleviate their anxiety and tension," said Dr. John Anastos, DO, chairman of the department of radiology at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in a release. "A CT exam requires a patient lie perfectly still, and can be very scary or intimidating to a child. About one-third of children scanned require sedation because they are unable to relax enough for a successful diagnostic exam. This can add six to eight hours of recovery time to a procedure that could be completed in 15 minutes."
Philips' Ambient Experience gives pediatric patients a great deal of control over the examination environment. For example, in the reception area at Lutheran General Children's Hospital, young patients select cartoons and animation themes to be projected on the wall and ceiling of the examination room, accompanied by corresponding music and sounds. Specialized lighting brings a wash of color into the experience. The system's effects are activated by patients who can pass a radiofrequency identification (RFID) card over a reader in the suite.