It’s almost enough to bring my high school English teacher back from the dead… me, railing on someone else’s vocabulary skills. What I’m talking about here is the new Revo pacemaker (formerly known as Enrhythm) by Medtronic, designed to allow pacemaker patients to receive MRI scans.
…off the MRI magnet!”
Yes, that’s right, a recent news story from the NBC television affiliate station in Jacksonville, Florida, provides an account of how an off-duty police officer’s pistol wound up stuck to their MRI scanner, and cost the provider something in the neighborhood of $150,000 to remove!
Nearly all MRI accidents that wind up the subject of civil lawsuits conclude the same way… in confidential settlement protected by a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). This makes it extremely difficult to get to the facts associated with any particular accident. Currently the highest profile MRI accident (the death of a young boy from a flying oxygen cylinder) is in pre-trial litigation and is our best window into the legal responsibility of Technologists and providers. Today, however, I learned of another suit in which a Tech is suing her former employer for willfully putting off needed system repairs that compromised image quality and diagnostic value.
A very common question asked about ferromagnetic detection systems is, “will it find __________ [insert the object of your choice: pacemaker, cell phone, pocket knife, intra-orbital fragments...]?” Funny, but in the hundreds, if not thousands, of times that question has been posed to me, never once has it been, “will it find a nail I stuck in my nose 30 years ago?”