A Pirate-themed CT Scanner in New York Children Hospital

A New York children's hospital recently purchased a a pirate-themed CT scanner to make the medical tests less of a 'horrible, scary chore'. Child patients lay down on a mock plank which then slides into the scanner, a hoop in the shape of a ship's wheel. Swash-buckling pirate animals decorate the walls to distract the children from the test.

GE provided the scanner to New York-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, and gave the hospital two choices for a child theme - fish or pirates - sparking a heated debate among the staff. Dr Carrie Ruzal-Shapiro, the hospital's chief of pediatric radiology, said the pirates won out because they 'were cute' and the scanner was installed in August 2013.

And so far the reaction has been positive. Registered nurse Naomi Hawkins told Buzzfeed that the best response she's gotten is a patient saying: 'Hurry up and get out so I can play'.Although the test only lasts a minute, it takes about 10 to 15 minutes to get children prepared for the test, which can be stressful. 'It allows children to imagine all sorts of things,' Dr Ruzal-Shapiro told the New York Daily News. 'So it doesn't seem like a horrible scary chore.'

Before the test, nurses get kids settled onto the table and hooked up to an IV. The room's decor helps kids take their mind off the IV and the anxiety of the test.The children being scanned could be dealing with something as serious as cancer to checking on bone fractures.

The hospital's radiology department conducts about five to 10 scans in the room every day, on patients ranging from infants to 21-year-olds. 'The teens roll their eyes at the cat with the eye-patch and the hippo mermaid,' Dr Ruzal-Shapiro said. 'But they like it as much as the kids.'

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