Tag Archives: medical

MRI Safety, Per ACR Accreditation Standards

“Peachy Keen!”

One can only presume that this is the commentary that US States and radiology accreditation agencies have to offer on the contemporary state of MRI safety. After all, there’s been nothing more than navel-gazing when it comes to measurable changes in standards for MRI providers. Let’s break it down…

Click to Read About the ACR and MRI Safety Standards…

No Vacation For MRI Safety (Recent Death)

Yes, I’ve not kept up with my blog postings as I usually do. I’d like to tell you that it was because I’ve been spending the last month or so sipping umbrella-drinks on a sunny beach somewhere, but that’s about the furthest thing from the truth. The fact is that there have been torrents of activity, but they’re all happening below the glassy surface. For example, the radiology press has been strangely silent about the most recent MRI fatality…

Click To Read More About The Recent MRI Death…

$2.9 Million Settlement Closes Colombini MRI Death Case

This week the settlement documents were released — closing the chapter on the lawsuit that arose from the seminal event in MRI safety, the 2001 oxygen tank fatality of then-six-year-old Michael Colombini.

Click To Learn More About The Accident And Settlement…

Gurney Crashes MRI, Patient Injured, Hospital Fined $50K

It is the stuff of fabled oral-histories, often dismissed as MRI urban-legend. The patient is wheeled into the MRI room on a gurney that goes flying toward the scanner. “How on Earth could these accidents happen when we know about these risks,” the skeptics question? Almost never does more than a single fragment of information surface about these sorts of accidents and, without verification, nearly all accounts can be erroneously written-off as fiction. Or, that was until enough pieces fell into place to conclusively document a recent episode… Click Here To Read More About MRI Gurney Accidents…

ECRI Top 10 Medical Technology Hazards Includes MRI Projectiles

Every year the ECRI Institute publishes their Top 10 health technology hazards, identifying the 10 most serious (and unintended) risks posed by our ever-increasing use of sophisticated medical devices to diagnose and treat patients. In November, the Institute released their 2010 watch list, which dedicated a Top 10 slot, and an entire page, to ferromagnetic projectiles in MRI.

Click To Read More And Get Link To Original Report…

FDA’s MAUDE Database Appears To Be Restored

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. So Click Here If You’re Curious…

5 MRI ‘Never Events’

For those unfamiliar with the term, a ‘never event’ is a label used to describe an adverse event that is wholly avoidable by simply following established best practices. For example, if you have an accurate count of the surgical instruments before and after surgery, there should never be an event where the patient leaves the OR with a sponge or clamp sewn up inside of them. A retained surgical instrument, or wrong-site surgery, or bed-sores, or patient mis-identification, or medication errors are all examples of ‘never events’.

Some insurance payers are beginning to refuse reimbursement for care that is necessitated by certain ‘never events’, and that list is likely to grow. And while they may not always result in patient injury, I’d like to propose my own list of 5 MRI ‘never events’ which should at least trigger an investigation…

Click To Read The 5 MRI Never Events…

The Supreme Court, MRI Accidents, And You…

Last year, the United States Supreme Court decided that medical device manufacturers that had gone through the trial-by-fire of a FDA pre-market review are immune from civil action in the state courts for product liability (Riegel v. Medtronic). Just a few weeks ago, the Court threw what many considered to be a major curve-ball when they decided that comparable protections do NOT apply to pharmaceutical manufacturers (Levine v. Wyeth). What does this suggest to MRI providers (Technologists, Radiologists and Administrators)?

Click To Learn What This Supreme Court Decision Suggests…

MRI Truth Is Sometimes Stranger Than MRI Fiction

I have a serial weakness for medical dramas. I get sucked-in and watch for a couple of seasons before the absurdity catches up with me. With respect to MRI, it seems that 99% of the time the shows are so wildly off-base that it seems that each must outdo its own crazy scenarios (and those of the other medical dramas) to come up with a new MRI-related plot gimmick.

But then, typically after I’ve lost all hope of seeing anything that approaches reality, something plausible and even downright real is shown on one of these programs…

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Click to read more and see the real MRI accident photo…

Is Siemens Medical ‘On Board’ With Ferromagnetic Detection?!?

MRI equipment vendor executives generally must be guarded about what they say to the media. We’ve all seen the cartoon depictions of the mini-angel and devil sitting on opposite shoulders of a person, lobbying for their own moral agenda. When I meet an executive from the MRI vendors, I imagine a very similar scene, only instead of angels and devils, I imagine a gaggle of attorneys advising the person as to what can and can’t be said, particularly in the realm of MRI safety.

So, it surprised me, more than a little, when I came across this gem…

“There must be metal detectors at the entrance to every room with a MRI device.”

Realizing that the speaker meant ferromagnetic detection, these words sound like ones that have passed my own lips, or those of noted MRI safety guru Dr. Emanuel Kanal. Imagine my surprise to learn that this statement was issued by none other than Walter Marzendorfer, CEO of Siemens’ MRI business unit.

The interview, which appears in the Israeli business publication ‘Globes’ [click here to go to the Globes interview], includes the statement about the magnetic field risks and the necessity of projectile detection to help mitigate the safety concerns.

Walter Maerzendorfer, CEO of Siemens MRI Business Unit “The main safety issue where MRI is involved is the fact that it is a magnet. Accidents happen when a doctor enters the MRI room with a scalpel in his pocket and bends over the patient. People forget. There must be metal detectors at the entrance to every room with a MRI device.”

–Walter Marzendorfer, CEO of Siemens’ MRI business unit

I believe that Siemens Medical worldwide views this statement with the same unequivocal eye with which I read it, and that ferromagnetic detection will be offered for Siemens MRI installations.

Stay tuned as the MRI vendor situation develops!

Tobias Gilk, President & MRI Safety Director
Mednovus, Inc.
Tobias.Gilk@Mednovus.com
www.MEDNOVUS.com