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Fast Facts about DMSA Renal Scans - page 2 / 3

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DMSA Renal (Kidney) Scan cont’d

Home Preparation

No special preparation is needed, and your child may eat and drink as usual unless sedation medication has been prescribed for your child.

Have your child wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes on the day of the test.

You may want to bring along a “comfort item” - such as a favorite stuffed animal or “blankie” - for your child to hold during the test.

You can bring along a portable music or movie player to distract your child so that he or she can lie completely still during the pictures.

For toddlers and preschool-age children, the best time to talk with your child is right before the test. On the day of the test, tell your child that he or she will be having some “pictures” taken, so the doctor can help him or her feel better. Most children this age are afraid of being separated from their parents. Let your child know that you will stay with him or her the whole time.

School-age children have good imaginations and may frighten themselves by imagining something much worse than the actual test. The day before the test, tell your child that he or she is going to the hospital to have some pictures taken of his or her kidneys. Be honest and tell your child exactly what will happen. Let your child ask questions about the test.

The Test

A pediatric radiology nurse will put in the IV and give the DMSA injection. You and your child may leave the department or stay in the radiology waiting area for the next 2 hours.

You will be given a specific time to return to the radiology department. When you return, you and your child will be taken to a nuclear medicine room. Inside the room will be a nuclear medicine technologist who will do the DMSA scan, a table, and a nuclear medicine camera. The lights will be dim inside the room.

Your child will lie down on the table.

The technologist may place a Velcro strap across your child’s waist or use a papoose board to help him or her stay still.

During the scan, the camera will either move over your child’s body or stay in one position, but will not touch your child at any point. The scan itself does not hurt.

The technologist will reamin in the room for most of the test; you will be able to stay with your child the whole time.

Each picture of the kidney takes about 8 minutes; all of the pictures will be done in about 60 minutes.

If your child received sedation medication for relaxation or sleep, he or she will be taken to the recovery area to be watched until the medication wears off and he or she is awake again.

After the Test

Once a nuclear medicine doctor approves the quality of the pictures, the test will be over. A report of your child’s scan will be sent to the doctor who ordered it, usually within 48 hours. If there are any urgent results to report, your doctor will be contacted immediately.

Please contact the doctor who ordered the scan for results.

If your child did not receive sedation, no special follow-up care is necessary; he or she may resume normal activities and diet.

A P a r e n t s / G u a r d i a n s R o l During the Test e

We welcome your help and support during this test. Since there is no actual radiation involved at the time of taking the pictures, one parent or guardian is invited to be with your child in the scan room. Other adults and children must stay in the waiting area.

If your child was prescribed sedation medication, you will be asked to sign a consent form before the sedation is given.

Your most important role is to help your child stay calm and relaxed. The best way to help your child stay calm is for you to stay calm. It is important that your child stays still while the scan is being done.

Let your child know that you will stay with him or her during the whole test.

We encourage you to talk to your child and hold his or her hand during the test.

During the placement of the IV, you can help by reassuring and calming your child. Please share with the staff any ways that they might also help in keeping your child calm.

We welcome your questions, but please ask them either before or after the test.

If your child was prescribed sedation medication, you should gather all of your belongings after the scan is finished so your child can be taken immediately to the recovery area.

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