MRI safety importance is a mandatory operational and business initiative at Greater Waterbury Imaging Center. Magnetic Resonance Imaging, (MRI), is one of the most accurate diagnostic methods available to obtain images of the human body. MRI allows physicians and healthcare professionals to see the internal tissues and organs of the body without invasive surgical procedures and without using radiation. MRI machines use the magnetic properties of hydrogen and its interaction with radio waves and a large external magnetic field to generate detailed images inside the human body.
MRI Safety Importance
The importance of MRI safety cannot be overstated. MR technologists and staff must be fully aware of safety procedures and follow them at all times, keeping the area safe for all who enter the room. An MRI uses a powerful magnet which can pose real risks to people in the room. If an object is highly attracted to the magnet, it can be picked up and pulled into the magnet like a projectile. Along with creating a safe environment, anyone that comes in contact with the magnetic field must be screened for contraindications.
Contraindications include a number of health conditions and medical devices, which could harm the patient if not disclosed.
Patient Screening for MRI
Patient screening is critical prior to entering an MRI machine. There is a detailed checklist of questions that must be asked, all leading up to the most important question, what can go into the magnet? Some items are considered safe, some are unsafe, while others are conditional. MRI providers and technologists must be fully aware of any contraindications, situations that would warrant the MRI unsafe.
Absolute contraindications include any metallic foreign object in the eye, contact lenses referred to as “triggerfish”, which is a new type of contact lens that records pressures in the eye. These things can cause severe eye burn in a patient if undergoing an MRI. Additional absolute contraindications include gastro reflux devices, certain types of insulin pumps, and temporary external transvenous pacing leads as well as abandoned intracardiac pacing leads.
Relative contraindications are situations which should be carefully evaluated to determine if the benefit outweighs the risk of MRI. These include patient situations such as shrapnel in the body, pregnancy, spinal fixation hardware, certain cochlear implants, and many other situations which could pose a risk to patient safety.
Everyone in contact with the magnetic field should be screened for contraindications by a knowledgeable MR technician.
GWIC Practices Safe MRI Policies and Procedures
Greater Waterbury Imaging Center is continually updating our policies and procedures to identify and address any threats or concerns. Our MR safety program is constantly evaluated for any new risks as we continue to provide a safe environment for our patients. We provide a secure, gated parking lot where patients are allowed in by the receptionist. Once inside you’ll be given consent forms for the MRI exam, and an additional consent form if you’ll be administered contrast with your exam.
Prior to the exam, our MR technologist performs a thorough health risk assessment by asking a list of questions to alert of any contraindications. While this may seem repetitive, we may ask the same questions to be sure we clearly understand your medical history and any possible risks for MRI. We offer an MRI machine specifically for patients that may be claustrophobic which provides a little extra room to help patients with claustrophobic tendencies and anxiety. We provide earplugs as the noise of the magnets can be loud in the machine, or we can also provide music to help ease patient nerves and cut down noise.
Patients always have a call button to alert a technologist to any problems or needs during the exam. Once complete, our Radiologist reviews the images and dictates the reports that will be sent to your healthcare provider. You can always obtain a copy of your images on disk by calling our office to request a copy. You can learn more by visiting our website as we provide the patient tools like this quick video “What to Expect During Your MRI Exam” to assist with your exam before, during and after to provide your total safety and comfort.
MR technology provides a valuable tool to health care professionals and here at Greater Waterbury Imaging Center, we take your exam seriously and follow all safety procedures meticulously with each and every patient.
Greater Waterbury Imaging Center continually assesses our MRI safety program to identify and eliminate any possible risk to our patients’ health and well-being. We conduct a thorough health screening and evaluation for any possible contraindications associated with MR screening. Contact us today to learn more about our facility and to schedule your MR imaging with a professional and safe MR provider.