A multiple-gated acquisition (MUGA) scan tests cardiac function. It is more sensitive than an echocardiogram. Prior to having a MUGA scan, children are sometimes given a sedative to help them relax and stay perfectly still for the fifteen- to twenty-minute test. An injection of red cells or proteins tagged with a mildly radioactive substance (called technetium) is given through an IV The child lies on a table with a large movable camera above. This special camera records sequential images of the tech-netium as it moves through the heart. These pictures of the hearts function allow doctors to determine how efficiently the heart muscle is pumping and if any damage to the heart has occurred.
My 3-year-old daughter had a MUGA scan before she started chemotherapy. They gave her an injection, and she fell asleep. They laid her on her back on a big table and moved a huge contraption around her to take pictures of her heart beating. We watched on a screen, and they printed out a copy on paper for the doctors.
If either the echocardiogram or MUGA scan shows heart damage, the oncologist may reduce the dosage or remove the drug causing the damage from your child's protocol.
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Although nobody gets a parenting manual or bible in the delivery room, it is our duty as parents to try to make our kids as well rounded, happy and confident as possible. It is a lot easier to bring up great kids than it is to try and fix problems caused by bad parenting, when our kids have become adults. Our children are all individuals - they are not our property but people in their own right.