Claustrophobic patients undergoing an MRI exam do not always require sedation to get MRI images of diagnostic quality. There are many alternative options that may be implemented to assist a claustrophobic patient in the event of an MRI exam, explains MRIsafety.com. Sedation is only one of these options.
Sedation may be considered if other options prove ineffective, notes UCSF Department of Radiology & Biomedical Imaging. Options include audio or visual distraction, systematic desensitization, medical hypnosis, aromatherapy, or the presence of a friend or family member. In the event that a patient cannot be sedated and none of the aforementioned methods sufficiently calm the patient, it may be necessary to seek other exam methods, which may be significantly more invasive or less accurate.