“Hearing protection contributes to flawless MRI scans”
Scott Martin, diagnostic radiology technician at the OLVG hospital in Amsterdam, first contacted Alpine Hearing Protection over a year ago. The hospital had been looking for the right kind of hearing protection for babies and infants for years. Scott’s timing could not have been better, since Alpine Muffy Baby was about to be launched at the time. These days, the OLVG makes frequent use of the earmuffs, which protect babies and infants from the harmful noise produced during an MRI scan.
MRI scan: deafening
MRI scanners are loud – very loud. The sound produced by e.g. a new Philips or Siemens wide-bore scanner can reach a peak volume between 115 and 120 dB during some scans. This is comparable to the volume of an airplane flying overhead at low altitude. Patients are therefore required to wear hearing protection while inside the MRI scanner. For some scans, it is even strongly recommended that they wear earplugs together with protective earmuffs.
“I was over the moon when I heard about the Muffy Baby and I got to test it right away. What a fantastic product!”
The only solution for MRI scans of babies and small children
It goes without saying that the noise inside an MRI scanner can damage your hearing. Children’s hearing is still developing and therefore even more sensitive, yet MRI manufacturers only offer protective earmuffs for adults. For years, the OLVG did not have suitable hearing protection for babies and infants. The only solution was to use a sort of improvised protection with small foam pads and earplugs cut in half. Non of this is ever tested for accurate ear protection. Diagnostic radiology technician Scott Martin therefore decided to take matters into his own hands and contacted Alpine Hearing Protection. “At the OLVG, we did not know what to do about this situation. I suffer from tinnitus myself, as a result of driving my motorcycle and listening to music at excessive volumes. I know better than most how important it is to properly protect your hearing. I have been using Alpine’s hearing protection products for a number of years. That is why I contacted them to ask about the possibilities of designing hearing protection for babies and small children. I was over the moon when I heard about the Muffy Baby and I got to test it right away. What a fantastic product!”
“In more than twenty years of doing this job, I have never seen such a wonderful and effective product. The Muffy Baby helps us make perfect scans, which makes the diagnostic process that much easier.”
Perfect scans without any artefacts
MRI scanners produce an exceptionally powerful magnetic field (30,000 times stronger than the average strength of the Earth’s own magnetic field). It is therefore extremely dangerous to bring any iron in the vicinity of one of these machines. Even some non-metallic items can cause abnormalities on the scans. Alpine Muffy Baby does not contain any metal components, making it the only earmuff for babies and small children that can be used safely inside an MRI scanner.
The Muffy Baby is not only great because it protects the young patient’s hearing; it also makes it easier to place the baby or child in the right position. “We find that babies are calmer when they wear the earmuffs. They feel more at ease and are less scared of the procedure. This results in higher-quality and more useful scans.”
Muffy Baby in the OLVG
To make an MRI scan, the OLVG’s staff wrap babies in a special kind of vacuum mattress. The child can then be positioned correctly for the procedure. “Unfortunately, many children still wake up from the noise inside the MRI scanner. This is not only traumatic for both the child and its parents; it also results in movement. That, in turn, leads to poor MRI scans. Since the release of the Muffy Baby, we have been using the vacuum mattress together with a mild sedative and the earmuffs. That works perfectly!”
Unrivalled comfort and fit
The OLVG’s staff members all feel the same about the Muffy Baby’s ease of use. Scott says its comfort and fit are unrivalled: “The earmuffs fit perfectly around a baby’s small ears and offer protection against the loud noise inside an MRI scanner. They fit well and keep the child comfortable and stable inside the machine.” The Muffy Baby helps to make perfect scans, which makes the diagnostic process that much easier. “In more than twenty years of doing this job, I have never seen such a wonderful and effective product. The specialist who works directly with the children is also extremely happy with it. I would recommend the Muffy Baby to anyone!”