Nervous about an MRI.... update #14 - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 49 Old 06-30-2008, 12:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just wondering if anyone wanted to share their MRI knowledge/experiences?

Lizzie (14mos) is scheduled for an MRI next week. They of course gave me little information about what to expect, and I of course did not ask enough questions. Now that it is almost here, I am a little nervous about it. I know that she will be under GA, which I'm not especially concerned about b/c she has done well with it before. I just don't know what to expect after that.

For one thing, how long will the test take? Our uro set up the MRI, so how do I know who is actually reading the results? Also, did you get any information after the test or did you have to wait for all info. We are scheduled to meet w/ uro 2 wks later.

They are doing the MRI to look for neurological conditions that might be causing her VUR and bladder issues. From the research that I have done, this basically means that they are looking for for some type of "occult" spinal problem, lesions, tethered cord, and so on. Am I understanding all of this correctly? The MRI basically will show how the spine is formed and shaped, and whether or not there are any defects. Does that sound about right?

Thanks mamas!
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#2 of 49 Old 06-30-2008, 02:31 PM
 
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Woo Hoo! : I can help you on this one! Gabrielle is having her 5th MRI on the 21st of July.

First, what are they doing the MRI of? Gabrielle usually has lumbar, thoracic and sacral of her spine done. One of them (I forget which section) is with and without contrast. The MRI in July is just going to be lumbar and sacral.

So depending on what section of the body they are doing, will tell you how long it will take. I think all three sections for Gabrielle take about 3 hours.

First thing Lizzie won't be able to eat or drink as you know after a certain point before the test. You will check in (find out where you need to go every place is different). Get her undressed and into a gown. Probably put the numbing cream on the back of her hand for the IV, which is usually put in after she is asleep.

Now, every place is different. But usually I carry her down to the MRI machine and actually lay her on the table. I stay till they give her gas to make her go to sleep. This last time I didn't go down with her, but all the other ones I did.

Don't be scared of the machine. It is big and when its running is noisey (you can hear it outside the door).

They will probably send you up to the waiting room to wait. Then someone will call or come see you to tell you how she is doing (or when the test is over). Then they will take her to recovery and thats where you will go to her. Only one person can go in recovery to be with her though (usually).

They have even let me crawl in bed with Gabrielle. Are you nursing? Let them know and you can nurse in recovery. But go easy, so she doesn't throw up. Gabrielle threw up after the first MRI because she ate too fast.

A Radiologist will interpet the results and send it over to your Urologist.

Be back.....baby is crying

Anne, Mama to Conner 2/27/04 blahblah.gif  Gabrielle 2/6/06 W/LMC-TCS, Neurogenic Bladder, AFO & KAFO wearer, Neurogenic Bowel energy.gif & Delaney 5/12/08 mischievous.gif &  Beethoven cat.gif& Gizmo cat.gif

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#3 of 49 Old 06-30-2008, 05:33 PM
 
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Carter had an MRI at about that age. They gave him some oral medicine in the waiting room and told me to tell them when he went to sleep. It took maybe 15 seconds. They we went to the room and I laid him on the table. They covered his ears with huge pads of gauze and gave me a pair of earplugs. It's VERY loud, but didn't take too long (though I suppose the amount of time it takes would depend on what they're looking at/for).

Carter actually slept quite awhile after it was over (they put us in a room on the inpatient unit), but when he was awake and they checked his vitals, they let us go. We saw our neuro about a week later and that's when we got the results.

Good luck! I hope it goes smoothly.

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#4 of 49 Old 06-30-2008, 06:01 PM
 
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My daughter's MRIs have all been of her complete spine, so they've taken a long time, about 3 hours or more. Hers have all been done with IV sedation (it's called conscious sedation, and isn't as deep as general; there's no intubation), but some kids have them done with just an oral sedative. I'd call and ask what they're using, so you know what to expect. Kids sometimes respond in unusual ways to sedating meds---I've heard of gets being made hyper by oral stuff, and Michaela reacted to an IV med once by sleeping almost continuously for more than 24 hours after one of her MRIs---so you'll probably want to know what she'd being given.

Michaela usually got a swallow of very nasty-tasting Versed to relax her (she gets extremely nervous during the MRI prep), and EMLA numbing cream on several potential IV sites. If your facility uses EMLA or something like it, make sure they leave it on long enough to do any good! It helps with the IV stick, but likely won't completely eliminate the pain.

Except for when I was pg, I've been allowed into the MRI room. If you go in, you have to make sure you're not wearing any metal. You can either dress appropriately beforehand, or they'll give you something to change into. The machine is very loud, so you'll be given earplugs.

I accompanied Michaela back to recovery each time. I don't remember exactly how long it took her to wake up completely, but it was a while. A couple of times, they've not wanted to release her until she was awake enough to drink something (when she was little, I just nursed her). When she was older, they wanted to make sure she could pass urine before they released her. She usually feels a little woozy for the rest of the day, depending on what meds they used.

I hope the MRI goes smoothly for your little one, and that it leads to some answers.

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#5 of 49 Old 06-30-2008, 06:17 PM
 
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my dd had an MRI around that age too, on her brain. she wasn't under GA but Propofol. I was extremely worried about it (despite having gone through other surgery/procedures). The worst part was the IV, though. she instantly fell asleep and really, it was boring from there on out. I got up to go to the bathroom and then they told me I couldn't go back in because you're not supposed to open & shut the door! luckily DH was in there with her so I just read a magazine in the waiting room. She woke up almost immediately afterwards and had no vomiting or any other side effects. compared to many regular ped visits, it was a cake walk. not saying they always are, but that they can be.


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#6 of 49 Old 07-01-2008, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all of the responses mamas. I don't know what I would do without you ladies, b/c apparently I am clueless! : I always feel like I am at least one step behind. I worked so hard to get this MRI, how can I be so lost about it?!?!

Basically I was told, "yes, we should do an MRI to rule out neurological problems". No mention of lumbar, thoracic or sacral areas of her spine, no mention of the spine at all to be honest. At the time I was so overwhelmed, I didn't really know what to ask. I have talked to the nurse about the ga (she will get it thru IV), so I am still not too worried about that, but past that I am WAY lost.

So, when I call uro, it sounds like I need to ask a bunch of questions:

What part of her spine are they looking at
Approx how long the test will take
Double check on the sedation
Ask about staying with her thru the test (pretty sure they don't allow that at our hospital)

Are there any other questions that I should be asking? Does anyone know what they are specifically looking for in the different sections of the spine, or is it just general defects?

I do feel better knowing that most of you had good experiences, and the test itself doesn't sound too bad. It sounds like out of all the testing we have done, this one might not be so bad. Sedation makes a big difference I guess. If anyone can think of something else to add, please do!
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#7 of 49 Old 07-01-2008, 11:10 AM
 
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The only thing I will add is that if it's GA, make sure they call you BEFORE she wakes up to come in and be with her. Even if they think it will be a while before she wakes up. DS woke up faster than they thought (he felt the IV and flipped out) and by the time we got in there he was ripping the thing out. DH got in the bed and held him until they could take the IV out.

Her throat will be really sore from being intubated so ask for a popsicle

Also, they gave DS versed to drink which made him groggy (and silly) before they put the IV in. I held him in my lap until he was about passed out, then I carried him myself into the MRI room and gave him to the Dr. I could have stayed but he was out cold and it would have made me more anxious to see him under anasthesia.

He had a cardiac MRI and it took about an hour and a half.

Sleepy mom of two (DS-11, DD-8). 4 lost: 9/2004, 3/2005, 3/2013, 8/2014.
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#8 of 49 Old 07-01-2008, 12:01 PM
 
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I have more to tell you, but have to take Gabrielle to PT. Be back later.

Anne, Mama to Conner 2/27/04 blahblah.gif  Gabrielle 2/6/06 W/LMC-TCS, Neurogenic Bladder, AFO & KAFO wearer, Neurogenic Bowel energy.gif & Delaney 5/12/08 mischievous.gif &  Beethoven cat.gif& Gizmo cat.gif

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#9 of 49 Old 07-01-2008, 10:07 PM
 
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The only thing I will add is that if it's GA, make sure they call you BEFORE she wakes up to come in and be with her.
i completely agree. there is NO reason you should not be allowed to do this, even if it is against their policy. a compromise is for you to wait until they remove her intubation (if she is intubated), and come in immediately after (like, wait behind the curtain!).

my dd had an MRI at 18 months, under general. it was fine. i had my dh take her in because she wasn't allowed to nurse for a few hours before hand, and i knew that if i was there, she would get really upset about not being able to nurse.

i was SO scared, and SO nervous ( i posted about it on here too!). but it was not bad or scary at all!

good luck.

eta- dd had a brain MRI, it took about an hour.

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#10 of 49 Old 07-09-2008, 11:24 PM
 
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Bump because DS (5 months) is going to have an MRI of his brain under sedation (not general) and I would appreciate hearing a bit more if anyone wants to share.

grateful mother to DD, 1/04, and DS, 2/08

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#11 of 49 Old 07-09-2008, 11:52 PM
 
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Everyone has given great advice...one more thing - ask if they are going to use contrast, and if they are planning to, ask to sign the consent forms as soon as she goes in. Sometimes they'll take her in, then page you an hour later to sign the forms. Easier if you just do it right away since getting paged in the hospital while your kid is under general can be a *tad* nerve jolting!

We've done MRIs with general, proponol, and versed. General is by far the easiest way to go, imo.
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#12 of 49 Old 07-10-2008, 10:32 AM
 
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Everyone has given great advice...one more thing - ask if they are going to use contrast, and if they are planning to, ask to sign the consent forms as soon as she goes in. Sometimes they'll take her in, then page you an hour later to sign the forms. Easier if you just do it right away since getting paged in the hospital while your kid is under general can be a *tad* nerve jolting!

We've done MRIs with general, proponol, and versed. General is by far the easiest way to go, imo.
Oh thats really weird! We have been through 4 MRI's with my daughter and never have they done that. I can see how that would scare the cr*p out of you though. Scary!

We have done 3 with General and 1 with the sleep drug. Never again with the sleep drug. She woke up during the MRI and they didn't quite finish it all. She is having another MRI on the 21st and it will be General.

Anne, Mama to Conner 2/27/04 blahblah.gif  Gabrielle 2/6/06 W/LMC-TCS, Neurogenic Bladder, AFO & KAFO wearer, Neurogenic Bowel energy.gif & Delaney 5/12/08 mischievous.gif &  Beethoven cat.gif& Gizmo cat.gif

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#13 of 49 Old 07-10-2008, 12:06 PM
 
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My daughter has had a few MRIs and usually they take around 1-2hrs from the time I say goodbye to her to the time I'm called back to see her in recovery. We've always had to stay overnight because she doesn't handle anesthesia well but with a kid who does it would easily be a morning activity. I know that with us the radiologist always writes a report that's sent to the doctor who requested the MRI and then they too can look over the MRI and come to their own conclusions.

My dd's have always been under general since that's all they do here with infants/toddlers. She has had with and without contrast in all of them.
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#14 of 49 Old 07-11-2008, 11:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Lizzie did great yesterday for her MRI! It was pretty much just like you guys had told me it would be. It was nice to be prepared for once. Thanks for sharing your stories!

The only struggle we had was with the IV, but we're used to that. If I ever find a nurse that can get it on the first... or even second try... they would be my new best friend. I don't know why an IV is such torture for Lizzie, but man it is so horrible. It ended up taking me, dh, and 3 nurses to hold her down before they finally got it in.

After the IV fiasco, I was worried, but everything went so smoothly. They let me hold her and take her back to lay her on the table, and then they called me back before she woke up. She woke up pretty calmly, and really did great!

I am so relieved to have this test over. Honestly, in the scheme of things, this was one of our easier tests. Now, if I can just stay sane for the two weeks until we get the results back....

I'll update again when we know more. Thanks again mamas!
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#15 of 49 Old 07-11-2008, 11:37 AM
 
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#16 of 49 Old 07-11-2008, 11:53 AM
 
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What problem did they have with the IV? Could they not find a vein?

Anne, Mama to Conner 2/27/04 blahblah.gif  Gabrielle 2/6/06 W/LMC-TCS, Neurogenic Bladder, AFO & KAFO wearer, Neurogenic Bowel energy.gif & Delaney 5/12/08 mischievous.gif &  Beethoven cat.gif& Gizmo cat.gif

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#17 of 49 Old 07-11-2008, 12:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What problem did they have with the IV? Could they not find a vein?
Too be honest, I'm not really sure. I think it is a number of things. They seem to be able to find the vein, but either can't get to it, or it collapses (I think that is the right word). One nurses said she had "rolling" veins, another blamed it on baby fat. A lot of times they get clotted and can't be flushed, and have to be redone.

She's had 8 IVs and 2 picc lines in the last year, and no one has ever gotten it on the first try, 3 seems to be our lucky number. For her last surgery, they gave up after 5 tries and waited until she was in surgery to insert it.

She really doesn't complain much the first try, poor thing. She has a pretty high tolerance for pain, but by number 3 she's done playing nice, and who can blame her?!?! Luckily she still forgives and forgets very quickly. A few mins later she was wearing the docs stethescope and laughing.

Hmmm... I probably should have mentioned some of this in the first post...
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#18 of 49 Old 07-11-2008, 12:40 PM
 
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It doesn't help that she is probably a little dehydrated from having to fast/no liquids.

Have they tried a butterfly needle? Thats what they have to use on me.

When I had Delaney they broke the vein at the first attempt of my IV. My arm was black and blue for over 2 weeks. It was not a pretty site.

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#19 of 49 Old 07-11-2008, 12:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Lizzie sometimes looks like she has gone a few rounds in the ring when we're done.

I'll have to ask about the butterfly needle, I'm not sure if they have tried it or not. We'll try anything if it might make it easier!
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#20 of 49 Old 07-11-2008, 03:03 PM
 
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I'm glad everything went well aside from the IV. Ditto the butterfly recommendation, if I see someone get out a non-butterfly for even a blood draw, I ask for the butterfly.

One thing that the Children's hospital did with my daughter when she was admitted last year was to wrap her up in a blanket. I know that this may sound like torture to some parents but it helped to calm her. She was wrapped up and her one arm was out - a) it made it easier for all of us to hold her and b) she was a lot more calm than any other IV attempt.

When will you receive the results?
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#21 of 49 Old 07-11-2008, 04:43 PM
 
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I know how the bad IV thing goes. I have serious leftover trauma from what we had to do to DD one time after surgery when she wouldn't eat, was very dehydrated and we couldn't get the IV in....it was horrific. She was a chubby baby with teeny tiny veins that defied even the best in children's hospitals. sigh. the blanket as described above made her insane with fear- however you never know what will work and what won't because each kid is totally different! so anythings worth a try

I will tell you now that she's 3 it's a walk in the park, they find a vein like nothing and get it right in. I'm glad everything went smoothly after that.

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#22 of 49 Old 07-11-2008, 04:55 PM
 
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Yeah, the IV thing is why we always do general now. It is just too traumatic for dd and she actually has some anxiety and what I would think it PTSD because of all of her IV horrors.
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#23 of 49 Old 07-11-2008, 06:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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When will you receive the results?
We are scheduled to meet uro and get the results back on the 24th, hopefully we will have some answers then.
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#24 of 49 Old 07-11-2008, 09:02 PM
 
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Lizzie did great yesterday for her MRI! It was pretty much just like you guys had told me it would be. It was nice to be prepared for once. Thanks for sharing your stories!

The only struggle we had was with the IV, but we're used to that. If I ever find a nurse that can get it on the first... or even second try... they would be my new best friend. I don't know why an IV is such torture for Lizzie, but man it is so horrible. It ended up taking me, dh, and 3 nurses to hold her down before they finally got it in.
I'm glad it is done. In our experience (Andrew is a horrible stick and so IV's are difficult with multiple people called in too), ER people do IV's best (second is NICU people). So now we have ER called in if possible and NICU if not when the first attempt fails. I should mention when I'm talking ER I'm talking pediatric hospital ER in our experience. But in general I think ER people are good at IV's.

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#25 of 49 Old 07-11-2008, 09:36 PM
 
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Dd was, and is, a tough stick. We've had the transport team called (the ones who go in the LifeFlights are great!) and NICU, since they are more used to teeny tiny veins.
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#26 of 49 Old 07-11-2008, 10:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I sure wish I had thought to mention all this before. At least now I'll have some things to try when we do the DMSA scan in August.

I would have never thought to have the er or NICU come do it. That's a pretty good idea.
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#27 of 49 Old 07-11-2008, 10:38 PM
 
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Oh, and one other thing to ask for if you have to do something similar again -EMLA cream....it'll help her not feel the poke, though i don't htink that's the scariest part.
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#28 of 49 Old 07-20-2008, 02:31 PM
 
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Bumping this because I am nervous about DS's MRI on Tues and could use some BTDT support. Turns out he is having GA after all. This is freaking me out just because he's so small and is a little bit of a mystery diagnosis still--like, what if there's some heart or breathing issue no one's caught yet? He's only 5 months. DD has been udner but she was much older (2 and 3) so this is my first time doing this with a tiny baby. I'm also not looking forward to not nursing for 4 hours. He will be a wreck, as he nurses every hour and a half usually.

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#29 of 49 Old 07-20-2008, 03:10 PM
 
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Bumping this because I am nervous about DS's MRI on Tues and could use some BTDT support. Turns out he is having GA after all. This is freaking me out just because he's so small and is a little bit of a mystery diagnosis still--like, what if there's some heart or breathing issue no one's caught yet? He's only 5 months. DD has been udner but she was much older (2 and 3) so this is my first time doing this with a tiny baby. I'm also not looking forward to not nursing for 4 hours. He will be a wreck, as he nurses every hour and a half usually.
Gabrielle was barely 4 1/2 months old when she had her first MRI. She did fine! Tomorrow she is having her 5th MRI. Usually they do aGA but tomorrow is sedation.

Good luck to you on Tuesday! I will be thinking of you.,

Anne, Mama to Conner 2/27/04 blahblah.gif  Gabrielle 2/6/06 W/LMC-TCS, Neurogenic Bladder, AFO & KAFO wearer, Neurogenic Bowel energy.gif & Delaney 5/12/08 mischievous.gif &  Beethoven cat.gif& Gizmo cat.gif

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#30 of 49 Old 07-20-2008, 06:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MyTwoAs View Post
I'm glad everything went well aside from the IV. Ditto the butterfly recommendation, if I see someone get out a non-butterfly for even a blood draw, I ask for the butterfly.

One thing that the Children's hospital did with my daughter when she was admitted last year was to wrap her up in a blanket. I know that this may sound like torture to some parents but it helped to calm her. She was wrapped up and her one arm was out - a) it made it easier for all of us to hold her and b) she was a lot more calm than any other IV attempt.

When will you receive the results?
We do this with a ring sling (easy because DS is still a bit under 20 lbs) and really papoose him in tightly. It doesn't always work (we never got any blood at our last blood draw : ), but it usually helps.

Sometimes we have to use his scalp veins, and the sling is a lifesaver then.
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