+ Importance of controlling access to the MRI environment
- The MRI environment has specific safety concerns related to the static magnetic field:
- Medical devices may malfunction within the static magnetic field, placing individuals with these devices at risk for serious or fatal injury1
- Other ferromagnetic items inadvertently taken into the static magnetic field pose a projectile risk and have been known to cause fatal trauma to patients, staff and others1,2
- In addition to the static field, MRI systems use large liquid helium reserves which, if accidentally released, pose a hazard to those in the vicinity (i.e., potential for asphyxiation and cryogen burns).2
- MRI system quenches can be dangerous for individuals unaware of the associated risks and the required emergency procedures within the MRI environment
- Controlling access to the MRI environment is instrumental in:1,2
- Preventing accidents and reducing risk for serious or fatal injury
- Ensuring medical devices and MRI scanning systems are not damaged and/or rendered useless
- Mitigating system downtime and maintaining a safe and effective working environment
+ Authorized personnel
- Personnel are identified as MRI personnel and non-MRI personnel.
- MRI personnel are further classified by level of safety education:2,3
- Level 1 personnel are those with training adequate to ensure their personal safety
- Level 2 personnel are those with MRI safety education to ensure safety of all individuals and facility resources within the MRI environment
- The MRI Safety Officer is responsible for identifying and categorizing staff according to levels, for example housekeeping, fire, police, security, code teams, respiratory technologist, radiologists, physicians, nurses, patient escorts, porters, etc.
- A list of all Level 1 and 2 personnel is established and maintained with periodic review
- Level 2 personnel control the access to Zones III and IV of the MRI environment:3
- Only Level 2 personnel can authorize access to Zone III and IV
- Only Level 2 personnel are authorized to perform the final screening of any individual entering the MRI environment
- Level 2 personnel must be present at all times during performance of patient exams
- Basic MRI safety training is provided to Level 1 personnel.3
- Advanced education on MRI safety to Level 2 personnel.3
- Continuing annual refresher training for all level 1 and 2 personnel is recommended.
- Shellock FG. Reference Manual for Magnetic Resonance Safety, Implants, and Devices. 2012 Ed. Los Angeles, CA: Biomedical Research Publishing Group; 2012.
- Kanal E, et al. American College of Radiology White Paper on MRI safety. AJR 2007;188:1-27.
- Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Report of the diagnostic imaging safety committee for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). February 2007. Available at: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/common/ministry/publications/reports/disc_ct_mri/mri_report.pdf. Accessed October 24, 2012.