Tag Archives: translational

NOT Magnet Safe Scissors!

Last year I highlighted an FDA MRI accident report in which a technologist had to have a pair of scissors surgically removed from his forehead after they’d caught him between the magnet-homing missile that they became, and the isocenter of the MRI. You may remember that I fauxtoshopped a hypothesis as to what that accident would have looked like on plain film: perhaps something like this… Click For More On What This Accident Was Like…

The Boy Who Cried “Trial”!

Yes, I think I’ve written at least twice before about the imminent start of the trial for the civil lawsuit stemming from the Michael Colombini fatal MRI accident in 2001. And, yes, I was wrong both times before. So, I would expect nothing less than readers of this entry to take my 3rd prognostication of the start of the trial with something more than a grain of salt… perhaps an entire salt lick! But today a little birdie told me that there’s a hole in the otherwise-booked New York Supreme Court trial schedule for late October / early November and the Colombini trial may just fit right in there.

Click Here To Read More About The Trial…

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…

FMD. Don’t We Have Screening Protocols For That?

One of the most oft-cited rationalizations for not complying with contemporary best practices that call for using ferromagnetic detection (FMD) for MRI pre-screening is that ‘FMD doesn’t catch anything that existing screening protocols aren’t meant to catch.’ What you may find surprising about this statement is that I agree with it wholeheartedly… I would just change the inflection a bit. I would say it more like…

Ferromagnetic detection doesn’t catch anything that existing screening protocols aren’t meant to catch.

That inflection makes a world of difference, as you’ll see in just a moment…

Click These Words Here To See What I Mean…

Why It’s Important To Find Metal Before MRI

A few weeks ago I posted my layperson’s summary of why there’s even an issue with metal and MRI (click here to read that post on MRI and Metal). In this posting, I hope to explain why it’s so critical to find metals, particularly ferromagnetic metals, being carried by people or inside objects.

Click To Read More About Different Metals and MRI…

“Pardon me, but could you spare $43,172?”

No, this isn’t about federal banking bail-outs or corporate welfare. This is the cost, in real-world dollars, of an average single MRI projectile accident in the VA Healthcare system.

Click to read more about the costs of MRI missile accidents…

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…

More Than Just A Pretty Face…

How I long to be judged for my content… my substance… and not just how I look!

No, not me, the author, but the figurative ‘me‘, this blog…

I don’t know if you’ve ever used them, but all of the major internet search engines have tools that you can use to find images that match your search criteria. Every so often there’s a new paparazzi picture of some starlet in mid-wardrobe-malfunction or a politician with a facial expression that looks like they just smelled something awful that become the ‘it’ picture of the day.

Well, based on the number of hits our blog has been getting recently, and the image search tools that many of these hits are coming from, apparently we have a lesser ‘it’ picture, and it has nothing to do with politics or racy nudity…

It’s a picture of an ICU bed stuck to the face of an MRI.

The 'it' photo of MRI Safety

Pictures of things stuck to magnets often generate wide-eyed looks, even laughter. After all, the juxtaposition can be pretty silly. But each of these pictures is only possible because of horrible mishaps that can each result in serious injury, or even fatality.

We encourage people to find and view these pictures, not to have a larger number of viewers snicker at them. We put them up to help deflate the ‘that could never happen here’ mythology that is dangerous. If you can see magnets, floor polishers, oxygen cylinders, wheelchairs or, as above, ICU beds that look like ones in use at the hospital or imaging center, then maybe the internal monologue becomes something more like, ‘what would have to happen here for us to have a similar accident?’

Most importantly, we hope that all of these efforts work to motivate Technologists, Radiographers, Imaging Managers, Radiologists, Risk-Managers and Compliance Officers to imagine which steps they could take at their locations to reduce the likelihood of these sorts of accidents.

There are many steps that can be taken to help improve the effectiveness of pre-screening for magnet hazards. One of the most obvious is also one of the easiest, the use of ferromagnetic detectors.

We encourage you to view and share the information contained on these pages and we hope that each of these resources, even the racy pictures of MRI missile accidents, help shape improvements to MRI safety at your facilities.

After all, I’m lot more than just a pretty face…

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