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MRI exams require no special preparation for the exam itself. Patients may eat and take any medications needed as usual, except in the special case of sedation.You will simply be lying on your back on a special table that slides into the center of the circular magnet. Many people end up taking a nap during the scan time. It is essential that you remain completely still during the scan which can last anywhere from 15 to 90 minutes, depending on the type of MRI exam ordered.

SedationIf a person suffers from claustrophobia, or the scan will be performed on a young child, then sedation of various types may be used. In such cases special preparation will be required for the sedation procedure. Sparrow MRI cannot dispense or provide any medications for the MRI procedure. For this reason we must coordinate any use of medication or sedation with other parties such as the anesthesiology department or your referring physician. 

Please bring such situations to the attention of your physician and the scheduling staff at Sparrow MRI before scheduling the MRI procedure. If you will be taking medication prescribed by your physician, or you will be undergoing sedation, then please have someone else drive you to and from the facility. More detailed information will be provided if you are scheduled for a sedation exam. 

Children Because a successful MRI requires the patient to remain completely still during the exam, some children undergoing MRI may need to be sedated, usually those under the age of 6 years. You should reassure the child that sedation is like taking a short nap. 

An IV needle is inserted in the child's arm in preparation for sedation, but this is usually the worst part of the experience for the child. Keep your child awake as long, and as much as possible prior to the exam as this will help the sedation in having its full effect.

In the case of sedation, the child may have to stay at Sparrow Hospital up to two hours after the end of the exam for observation. Dress the child in comfortable clothing without metal parts, such as zippers or snaps. Bring along the child's favorite toy or blanket to provide some reassurance. More detailed information will be provided if your child is scheduled for a sedation exam. 

Clothing Please wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing without zippers, snaps, or other metal parts. You will also be asked to remove jewelry, dentures, bobby pins, makeup, credit cards, prostheses, wire support bras, or any other metal objects that might interfere with the magnetic field of the MRI scanner. 

A locker will be provided in a secure dressing area for clothing and belongings. You can also leave your personal items at home or with a companion. 

Metal Anything that is metal, or contains metal affected by magnets, cannot go into the MRI scan room since the MRI magnet is extremely powerful. For example, the magnetic strip on credit cards, or even audiotapes, will be erased if they are brought into the scan room, rendering them useless. Because of this there is an extensive checklist that we use in order to make certain that no inappropriate metal is brought into the MRI scan room. The MRI technologist will go through our metal checklist with you and they may ask that you change into a hospital gown if they feel your clothing will interfere with the scan. 

Please notify the staff if you may have any possible magnetic material in your body such as surgical pins, plates, IUD, surgical clips, or any other foreign objects. Please allow us to make the determination about whether an internally placed object is safe by notifying us of all such objects in your body. In addition, some body tattoos contain high levels of metallic dust that can sometimes result in burns after contact with the magnetic field of the MRI magnet. 

If you have been in the Metal Working Industry, or similar industries, and may have had metal dust or rust in your eyes, we ask that you have an x-ray of the facial area to determine if any specks of metallic dust may be still present in your eye socket area. Failure to check for metallic specks, and having any specks found removed, can result in damage to your eyes and vision if you enter the MRI magnetic field. Contact our office at 517.364.2877 if you think this situation applies to you and we can explain how to go about having the proper x-ray done prior to your scheduled MRI exam. 

Our schedule A staff member will try to contact you prior to the day of your scheduled exam to confirm your appointment and gather necessary patient information. Please plan to arrive for your appointment at least 30 minutes before the scheduled start time of the exam to allow for check-in and interviewing. 

We appreciate patients being on time and in turn strive to honor our schedule as planned. Occasional emergency MRI's do happen which can interfere with the planned schedule. We must respond to these emergencies as we are located at Sparrow Hospital. We do understand that your time is important to you and we make every effort to complete all MRI exams on time and as quickly, completely, and safely as possible. 

What to bring Bring images that were done at another medical facility  related to the same body area being scanned, or that may relate to your current medical condition. Our radiologists will review these images and documents when they evaluate your MRI scan. 

A sound system with headphones is available that will allow you to listen to a CD, cassette tape, or a radio station during the MRI scan. If you would like to listen to some favorite music during the scan, bring a CD or cassette tape from home to play during the exam.