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LEGO is donating miniature MRI scanners to children in a bid to make them feel at ease about the process.
Everyone has played with LEGO at some point in their life. Maybe you built something simple, like a house or a small racecar. Perhaps you put together a massive tower of single blocks just to topple them over. You might be an enthusiast who's built sets made from thousands of pieces, like the Titanic or Millennium Falcon from Star Wars.
It's a universal, timeless toy – but what if it could be used for something more than fun, something beyond improving problem solving and exercising the brain? What if it could help kids feeling anxious about facing medical treatment?
I have a small weekend project - LEGO is donating model MRI Scanners to hospital Radiology departments to help children who may be nervous understand the process. I get to build one! pic.twitter.com/9C5MzulNtK— Fraser Lovatt (@fraserlovatt) January 22, 2022
Say hello the LEGO's MRI Scanner. The project first emerged in summer last year thanks to the efforts of Erik Ullerlund Staehr, who believed it could help medical staff prepare children for treatment.
'This would reduce their anxiety and make their experience more playful and less scary. The MRI model is now being built by employees across the world to distribute to their local hospitals,' the company's website reads.
Fraser Lovatt, a fellow LEGO employee, has taken to Twitter to share more about the model. 'I have a small weekend project - LEGO is donating model MRI Scanners to hospital Radiology departments to help children who may be nervous understand the process. I get to build one!' he wrote.
Lovatt confirmed that the set won't be available as a product, and they're being donated to hospital units in their complete state. Building instructions for the scanner also won't be available online.
It's made up of two main parts: one side has a person going into the scanner; and the other has a doctor observing the results of the scan. The scanner can also open up so children can better understand the machinery.
Lovatt's original post has racked up thousands of likes and comments. 'The Lego MRI scanner helped my seven-year-old daughter be very comfortable with a recent brain MRI. Although it cost the hospital over £500!' one user wrote.
'Fantastic idea. I am a grown woman & had to undergo an MRI this year week (not my first). I had a full-on panic attack! Just looking at the photo of the finished product would have calmed me down & to get it done faster,' another commented.
'Such an amazing project and thank you for doing it. I think it would help even an adult like me. I had a brain and ear scan last year and don’t like those MRI machines. Thank you to LEGO,' a third wrote.
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