A new space for medical imaging dedicated to children and adolescents


A new space for medical imaging dedicated to children and adolescents 

A new and innovative radiology and medical imaging space designed for the comfort of children is opening at the Queen Fabiola Children's University Hospital which, together with the Jules Bordet Institute and the Erasmus Hospital, is a part of the Brussels University Hospital.  To meet growing demand for medical imaging adapted to children and adolescents, the department is reviewing and extending its time slots on Saturdays.  

New equipment at the forefront of innovation 

This 15 December, the new Medical Imaging Department is opening at the Children's Hospital, the only hospital dedicated to the care of children and adolescents in Belgium. This space includes a new 3 Tesla Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine. Precise and powerful, this equipment makes it possible to obtain excellent quality images while reducing the immobilisation time and the need to sedate patients during the examination. Using a very powerful magnetic field rather than X-rays, there is no exposure to ionising rays. This examination makes it possible to observe with precision certain organs such as the brain and heart or soft tissue such as the spinal cord and muscles.   Much in demand for urgent pathologies, polytrauma and pulmonary and angiovascular disease, the department has also invested in a new scanner to carry out more rapid and more precise examinations with a lower radiation dose. These two devices use artificial intelligence that permits increased speed and improved quality of image and of image post-processing. 

Patient well-being is a priority 

The 3 Tesla MRI machine is equipped with an integrated distraction system with videos, stories and music chosen by patients that are relayed during what is a painless but noisy examination. The projections inside the tunnel help children to remain calm during the examination, enabling the technician to launch sequences that last an average of three minutes and during which the child is required to keep absolutely still. The Imaging Department also has two new radiology rooms, a new CT scanner room and three echography rooms that are interconnected via light and spacious work areas.  This infrastructure and equipment is designed to optimise comfort and communication for the technicians, radiologists, anaesthetists and the entire team.  Located in the operating theatre and intensive care area, the new department also benefits from easier access to and from the emergency facilities.  

The large and welcoming preparation room for patients offers increased confidentiality and comfort, thereby improving the overall experience of patients and their families. Particular attention has been paid to the MRI room environment. With subdued lighting and frescoes, everything has been designed on the theme of space. The distraction starts with the entrance door! Soon an MRI model created by engineering students at the HELHA school in Charleroi will also allow the teams to even better prepare these children for the examinations. The simulator will allow them to lie down and practice keeping perfectly still. Better prepared, the children will find it easier to cooperate. This project is supported by Kids' Care.  

Retaining a rapid response for radiology examinations 

This move also makes it possible to extend the time slots on Saturdays so as to meet the growing demand for examinations and care adapted to children and adolescents. Within the Brussels University Hospital, the HUDERF Department of Radiology and Medical Imaging provides a complete range of medical imaging and radiology services dedicated to children and adolescents, based on the specific know-how of a care, medical and paramedical team trained specifically in treating pathologies that impact on the quality of life of patients. These new investments will enable the department to deploy to the maximum its collaborations and also its research and teaching projects.