Hats Off to MRI Safety Personnel

Although MRI has never been my specialty, I am a member of a MRI Safety group on Facebook and receive posts from them on a daily basis.  The group requires approval for membership and the administrator is Tobias Gilk. Unlike many other groups/pages I belong to within the radiology community, I find that this group is the most helpful to the community members.  The members reach out to one another for problem and scenario solving. Experts weigh in on many of the problems to provide answers to questions or to provide references to answer the questions.

There is a new emphasis on MRI safety as the equipment has grown in field strength and many issues or injuries have become “old hat”.  MRI has been around long enough to become acclimatized with much of the hospital personnel not understanding the safety risks in the operation.  Now we have MRI Safety Officer Training as well as training for the Medical Directors as well. But, for the most part, information on specific operational issues or questions is difficult to obtain. For example, where to buy a transmit/receive head coil, how often do you require the MRI staff to obtain screening information, how are you dressing your patients to prevent heating issues from the equipment, and have you ever scanned this type of surgical clip and did you have any problems.  Always, ending with “is it safe?”

This week has been particularly busy with multiple posts. In fact, it was so busy I counted the last 24 hours and found there had been 21 posts, with 461 people commenting on those posts. The posts included the following topics: Snaps on hospital gowns, padding between patient’s thighs to prevent skin touching, Hospital gowns/scrubs safe in the magnet, surgical clips that are safe, bizarre image artifacts, pregnant patient/employee issues, safety barrier materials, vendor specific techniques, implant safety, image quality questions, safety for mobile/trailer MRI equipment. These were not all of the discussions, but certainly gives you a side bar for how the site is used to get help where there is none.

The Facebook page has been operational since March, 2008 and today has 22,517 subscribers. If you are a MRI professional who needs questions answered or correlation of information between sites, I highly recommend this site.

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