LEGO scanner helps prepare young patients for MRIs

Date: 15/06/2023

Model building expert David Flanagan has used his creative expertise to create a LEGO model of an MRI scanner to help prepare young hospital patients for their appointments.

David, who works in Milton Keynes University Hospital’s HSDU (Hosptial Sterlisation and Decontamination Unit), sourced instructions on how to make the scanner and paid for the parts needed for the scale model. Now it is used to help explain the MRI process to children so that they know more about what to expect when having an MRI scan.

The model has working parts, including the scanner which opens up and a moving table so that staff can use the little LEGO characters to help our younger patients understand what will happen at their appointment.

David, who also does a lot of LEGO photography in his spare time says: “My daughter Tia works on the paediatric wards and she mentioned to staff that I make all kinds of LEGO models. When I heard they needed an MRI model I thought I would give it a go.”

Play Specialist Laura Clarke adds: “The radiology department does have one similar model but we thought it would be really helpful for children on the ward to be able to have a model to play with. We support children who are both outpatients and inpatients requiring an MRI and this has proved really useful in reassuring them and demystifying the whole process. A lot of children are worried that it will be quite claustrophobic but by playing with the model they can see that the scanner opens and that the table slides in and out. It is a really useful model to have, and we are very grateful to David for creating it in his own time using his own stock of LEGO bricks.”