My brother is wheelchair-bound and was initially diagnosed as having ADEM, and now 15 years later as MS. His new doctor wants an MRI to see how it compares to the one he initially had so long ago. Unfortunately he cannot lie flat on his back because his legs can't stretch out straight and they constantly spasm causing the image to be blurred. The next option suggested was to sedate him but his doctor (not the specialist) is afraid to put him under anesthesia. Because his legs spasm less frequently when in the wheelchair, I thought about a sit-down MRI but the technicians at one place told me that they would not accept him because he could not walk the 10 feet to the MRI machine on his own. They would not allow me and another brother to help get him situated in the machine. (We'd have to physically lift him and put him in the seat. They are afraid we could injure ourselves and they would be liable).
I'm here to ask if there are other options I could consider, or if there are MRI centers that specialize in dealing with wheelchair patients with similar conditions. We are in the New York City area.
May I suggest that you call the National MS society and speak with a navigator about your options. They have data banks and knowledge we dont have.
If your brother is 300 lbs and has difficulty lying on his back or reacts to sounds, I could understand there being a problem. They could put extra cushions under his knees to prevent spasms. Maybe the place you spoke with does not have an open mri nor room enough to fit a wheelchair or simply refuses to allow 'civilian' waivers for assistance, but it sounds odd for sure.
And I would like to hear what you learn, I am scratching my head about this one, NY is not a back water town, if it can be done, it ought to be available there?
Hi John the have wheelchairs that are safe to use in the MRI rooms I believe that they make them out of aluminum. You should ask about that.
my husband has MS and also requires assistance getting into the MRI. He also has spasms. So I understand the dilemma you believe you are facing. But...there are special accommodations made just for these types of situations.
First, let me explain. I am not a clinical person but have worked in the medical field for 17 years. One of my positions was making arrangements for cancer patients imaging appointments. I am a medical secretary and may be able to help with your concern.
In your brothers case, it might be best that he have his imaging done at a hospital. This way, there are doctors and nurses on staff who would be able to help with sedation and or any medical concerns. Also, when imaging is completed at a hospital, radiology is looking immediately to be assured the images have everything his doctor has requested. No sense in having to go through this procedure more than once.
Next, when scheduling the MRI, be sure his concerns are documented so the hospital has the proper staff on hand at the time he goes in. Be sure he has you on his hips forms to allow them to speak to you on his behalf.
I hope I’ve eased your concerns just a bit. Honestly, I understand how overwhelming all of this can be but the radiology department is there to help and will do everything to make sure he is safe and comfortable
You got some great angles from other comments.
I thought about a sit-down MRI but the technicians at one place told me that they would not accept him because he could not walk the 10 feet to the MRI machine on his own.
That's crazy. Are they there to help people or to mindlessly enforce rules/policies?
Since I can't add much, I'll remind you that there are "exceptions to the rule" for a reason. So I'll urge you not to be bashful about breaking the "rules" and getting actual decent service.