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St. Joseph's Children's Hospital: Imaging Tailored to Kids

At St. Joseph's Children's Hospital, we offer all the scans and medical imaging services necessary to properly diagnosis your child. Our staff is specially trained to keep even the tiniest patients comfortable in order to capture an accurate, detailed image. We participate in the Image Gently campaign which was launched to raise awareness about methods to reduce radiation during pediatric medical imaging exams. Our Fetal Echocardiography program is also fully accredited by the Intersocietal  Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories (ICAEL) and the only program in the Tampa Bay area to have this accreditation.Your child's health and safety is extremely important to our hospital staff.

Your doctor will prescribe the best imaging scan for your child's condition and may include:

  • Pediatric Computed Tomography (CT) Scan with or without sedation
  • Pediatric Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Scan with and without sedation
  • Pediatric Radiography (X-rays)
  • Children's Voiding Cystourethrogram (bladder) X-ray

To schedule an imaging exam at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital, please call (813) 870-4601.

Pediatric MRI Services

The MRI suite has the latest state-of-the-art equipment. The experienced and dedicated staff provides quality, compassionate care with dignity and respect for patients and their families. Parents can be assured their child will be provided with the very best care. One of the specialized MRI scans we offer is the Pediatric Cardiac MRI.

It may take less than 30 minutes to several hours to complete an MRI exam. No movement is allowed during this time. If sedation is necessary:

  • Infants should have their last formula or food no later than six hours before the exam
  • Breast-fed infants will need to have their last feeding no later than four hours before the exam. They may have clear liquids such as water, apple juice or Pedialyte up to three hours prior to the exam.
  • Children up to age 15 should not have solid food including milk or orange juice for six hours prior to the exam.

If sedation is not necessary, then patients can relax in a virtual comfort zone and enjoy favorite movies and musical entertainment during their MRI exams.

What If Your Child Has Questions or Concerns?

Sometimes children have questions or concerns about medical procedures that parents may not be equipped to answer. The members of the Child Life staff at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital are specially trained to help in these instances. Child Life Specialists are available to teach children about procedures including MRI and sedation in developmentally appropriate ways. They can also use special techniques to help your child appropriately cope with the procedural experience.

What To Expect

  • Child-friendly environment with staff experienced in pediatric care
  • Your child should wear loose-fitting clothing without metal. This includes snaps, zippers and buckles.
  • Please bring a change of clothing for those children not potty-trained.
  • Please bring formula, a favorite cup or pacifier, if needed, and special food if your child has allergies.
  • We ask that you do not bring other siblings since this can add to the child's anxiety. There will be a recovery time after the procedure of one to two hours.
  • If your child takes medications on a regular basis, consult your pediatrician about giving them prior to the exam.
  • Because preparation for sedation is approximately one hour, you will be asked to arrive earlier than the scheduled MRI time.
  • The entire process will take between two to five hours and a parent or guardian will need to stay during this time.
  • If your child has a cold, fever or the flu the day before or the morning of your appointment, please call (813) 554-8511 to reschedule the exam.
  • The MRI machine is loud when it is taking pictures. Hearing protection is provided to your child to reduce the noise level.


St. Joseph's Children's Hospital of Tampa • 3001 W. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. • Tampa, FL 33607 • (813) 554-8500