You know, they’d be funny if they didn’t so often result in injuries to patients, Technologists, or housekeeping personnel. Yes, I’m talking about the plethora of MRI missile effect accident images that you can find scattered across the internet.
As everyone who’s spent more than an hour or two around an MRI knows, these super high-strength magnets have a reputation for ‘sucking-in’ ferromagnetic materials that are so prevalent in wheelchairs, gurneys, gas cylinders, fire extinguisher, and carts.
In the last few years, there’s been a spate of floor polishers that have found their way into MRI scanners across the country…
But while there’s a nearly universal urge to snicker at these images, it is important to realize two crucial things about each and every projectile accident.
First: Each and every MRI missile effect accident is theoretically 100% avoidable. By prospectively identifying the ferromagnetic nature of materials before they’re brought into the MRI suite, none of these need to happen. By following best practices including the ACR’s Guidance Document, or the Joint Commission Sentinel Event Alert, and deploying ferromagnetic detection screening of all people and materials approaching the MRI scanner, it is possible to prevent projectile accidents.
Second: Each and every ferromagnetic projectile incident has all the ingredients for injury. While there is only one official account of a projectile-related fatality, there are many, many reports of injury, a good number of which have been severe. And given the abysmal rates of MRI accident reporting, it’s entirely believable that other anecdotal accounts of MRI-projectile fatalities are more fact than fiction.
These projectile accidents are more commonplace, and more dangerous than many are aware. So what can you can do to avoid becoming a part of the MRI missile accident scrapbook? Start by reviewing all of your MRI safety protocols, and consider deploying ferromagnetic detection screening for each and every MRI.Tobias Gilk, President & MRI Safety Director Mednovus, Inc. Tobias.Gilk@Mednovus.com www.MEDNOVUS.com
PS: If you’d like to find more pictures, and even a video or two, on MRI accidents, I encourage you to check out www.SimplyPhysics.com/flying_objects.html