Raising Awareness: Celebrating MRI Safety Week

Every single day, we celebrate something in life. During the last week of July, we celebrated life by raising awareness for safety during MRI procedures through MRI Safety Week 2023!

 

What is MRI Safety Week?

MRI Safety Week is an annual event dedicated to promoting awareness and education about the safety protocols and procedures associated with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. It aims to inform both healthcare professionals and patients about the potential risks and precautions to be taken during MRI procedures, ensuring a safe and effective experience for all involved. The week-long celebration may already be over, but here’s everything you should know as a reminder to honor MRI Safety Week this year!

Importance of MRI Safety Week

MRI Safety Week serves as a platform to raise awareness about the importance of understanding every MRI procedure’s potential risks and providing valuable precautions. By doing so, all patients can undergo MRI scans with confidence and peace of mind.

 

Safety Concerns Within the MRI Community

MRI is a widely used medical imaging technique that uses a powerful magnetic field and radio waves to generate detailed images of the body’s organs and tissues. Although MRI scans are generally considered safe, there are certain risks and considerations that need to be taken into account.

 

What are the Most Important MRI Safety Essentials?

During scans, proper patient screening and assessment are essential. Trained staff must facilitate the scan, follow safety protocols, use equipment correctly, and maintain a safe environment. Regular MRI machine maintenance and staff training are crucial for ensuring the safety of both patients and healthcare professionals.

 

What is the History Behind MRI Safety Week?

MRI Safety Week was first established in 2008 by the Association for Radiologic & Imaging Nursing (ARIN) and the American College of Radiology (ACR). The event is typically held in the last week of July and involves various educational activities and campaigns to educate healthcare professionals, patients, and the general public about MRI safety. MRI Safety Week plays a crucial role in promoting best practices and reducing the risk of accidents and injuries during MRI scans.

 

Commemorating the Tragedy Behind MRI Safety Week

In 2001, a tragic incident took the life of 6-year-old Michael Colombini during an MRI examination. While undergoing the scan, an oxygen cylinder with a magnetic component was brought into the room, and the strong magnetic fields caused the cylinder to be pulled towards the machine, fatally striking Michael in the head. Because of this incident, the community was inspired to strive for awareness and safety, constantly calling for improved safety protocols and guidelines in MRI facilities.

 

Resources for Students and Alumni for MRI Safety

MRI Safety goes beyond the celebration of the week itself. If you are wondering how you can contribute to the ongoing mission for awareness and safety, there are a few ways you can get involved. Here are some existing programs that complement our efforts to ensure safer MRI procedures:

 

MRI Safety Programs

  • ACR MRI Accreditation: The American College of Radiology (ACR) offers an MRI accreditation program to ensure the quality and safety of MRI services. Facilities seeking accreditation undergo a comprehensive evaluation of their equipment, personnel qualifications, safety practices, and image quality.
  • MRI Safety Guidelines: Various organizations, including the ACR and the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM), have published safety guidelines and recommendations for MRI facilities. These guidelines cover everything from patient screening and equipment safety to emergency preparedness.
  • MR Conditional Labeling: Manufacturers of medical devices, implants, and accessories provide MR conditional labeling for their products. This labeling indicates the conditions under which the device can safely be used in an MRI environment.

 

Tobias’ Free MRI Safety Week Course

Want to take part in the commemoration of MRI Safety? You may access a free safety course by Tobias Gilk! You can access the course here.

 

Support MRI Safety Week and Protect Lives with Smith Chason College

Smith Chason College is dedicated to promoting MRI safety and raising awareness about the importance of proper safety protocols in the medical field. By supporting MRI Safety Week with Smith Chason College, you are contributing to the efforts of ensuring the well-being and safety of patients undergoing MRI scans. Contact our Clinical Site Development team to learn more about partnering with us as an MRI clinical site, email  and take a look at our available resources for MRI Safety Week:

Are you ready to start your journey to becoming an MRI technologist? Smith Chason College’s WCUI School of Medical Imaging offers year-round enrollment in our 21-month Academic Associates of Science in Magnetic Resonance Imaging program, available at all four of our California and Arizona campuses. Contact us today to speak with an admissions representative and learn more about the program! 

Commonly Asked Questions about MRI Safety Week

What are the Safety Rules for an MRI?

The safety rules for an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) are crucial to ensuring the well-being of patients and healthcare professionals. These include removing metallic objects, informing about medical implants, screening for ferromagnetic objects, proper positioning, monitoring patients, following specific protocols, and having trained experts.

What is the “Missile Effect” of an MRI?

The “Missile Effect” happens when metal objects near the machine are strongly attracted to the magnetic fields generated by the machine. This can be dangerous as they might get pulled toward the machine, causing injuries or damage to the machine itself. To prevent this, strict safety rules require removing or securing all metal objects before entering the MRI room.

What is Not Allowed in the MRI Room?

Metallic items such as jewelry, watches, and clothing with metal components are not safe to have inside the MRI room. Electronic devices, credit cards, and hearing aids are also prohibited as they can jam the machine’s magnetic field. It is also imperative to remove objects that may contain metal to prevent them from becoming projectiles in the strong magnetic field.

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