For a couple of months, at least, the FDA’s MAUDE database wasn’t displaying all of the accident narratives online… This appears to have been fixed!
A number of the MRI accident reports, when the narratives weren’t appearing, were little more than the name and mailing address of the MRI manufacturer. Today, if you want to read about the MR Technologist who had a pair of scissors magnetically-impelled into his forehead, you can do so.
Though I must admit to indulging sinister fantasies that the FDA was trying to ‘cover up’ some of these accidents, so I requested the information that wasn’t being displayed through the online MAUDE database through a good-old-fashioned Freedom of Information request. The result is that I have PDF copies of many stunning, alarming, and disconcerting accidents. And if you’re so inclined, you can download PDF copies of them, too…
And the above accidents only represent a proportion of the collected number of accidents for little more than half of 2009!
The above list should not scare anyone out of getting an MRI exam. It is meant to illustrate just how far we have yet to go to eliminate the ‘pilot error’ types of accidents which continue to jeopardize patients, staff, and millions of dollars of MRI equipment.
Sometime in February or March, we should have access to the complete 2009 MAUDE data. Early indications already suggest that we’re on track for a dismal year-end report, with a 20% (or more) growth in accident numbers.
Continue to stay tuned for the latest information on MRI accidents and – more importantly – the tools and protocols that can help reduce the risks.Tobias Gilk, President & MRI Safety Director Mednovus, Inc. Tobias.Gilk@Mednovus.com www.MEDNOVUS.com Link