BARCELONA, Spain, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- A Spanish hospital said transforming a pediatric MRI room into a "spaceship" is relaxing kids enough to reduce the need for anesthetic.
The Sant Joan de Deu hospital in Barcelona teamed with U.S. computer firm Hewlett-Packard to decorate the room and the MRI machine with stars, planets and astronauts designed to help young patients undergoing scans pretend they are on space adventures.
"We wanted to make the children believe they were part of the crew preparing to enter a spaceship," HP spokeswoman Eva Blanco said.
Doctors said children need general anesthesia to help them hold still during MRI scans, but the space-themed room has been successful in relaxing the kids enough to allow doctors to reduce anesthesia use by 18 percent.
"We used to have to sedate them to carry out the tests but now the kids are fascinated, more cooperative and aren't as scared," Dr. Terasa Maristany told the El Periodico newspaper.