Facilities identify personnel that require access to the MRI environment and authorize access based upon training of individual
Importance of controlling access to the MRI environment
- The MRI environment has specific safety concerns related to the static magnetic field:
- Medical devices may malfunction within the static magnetic field, placing individuals with these devices at risk for serious or fatal injury1
- Ferromagnetic items taken into the static magnetic field pose a projectile risk and have been known to cause fatal trauma to patients, staff and others1,2
- MRI systems use large liquid helium reserves which, if accidentally released, pose a hazard to those in the vicinity and can be dangerous for individuals unaware of the associated risks (i.e., potential for asphyxiation and cryogen burns) and the required emergency procedures within the MRI environment2.
- Controlling access to the MRI environment is instrumental in1,2:
- Preventing accidents and reducing risk for serious or fatal injury
- Ensuring medical devices and MRI scanning systems are not damaged and/or rendered useless
- Mitigating system downtime and maintaining a safe and effective working environment
- Personnel are identified as MRI personnel and non-MRI personnel.
- MRI personnel are further classified by level of safety education2,3:
- Level 1 personnel are those with training adequate to ensure their personal safety only
- Level 2 personnel are those with MRI safety education to ensure safety of all individuals and facility resources within the MRI environment
- The MRI Safety Officer is responsible for identifying and categorizing staff according to levels, for example housekeeping, fire, police, security, code teams, respiratory technologist, radiologists, physicians, nurses, patient escorts, porters, etc.
- A list of all Level 1 and 2 personnel is established and maintained with periodic review
- Level 2 personnel control the access to Zones III and IV of the MRI environment3:
- Only Level 2 personnel can authorize access to Zone III and IV
- Only Level 2 personnel are authorized to perform the final screening of any individual entering the MRI environment
- Level 2 personnel must be present at all times during performance of patient exams
- Basic MRI safety training is provided to Level 1 personnel3.
- Advanced education on MRI safety to Level 2 personnel3.
- Continuing annual refresher training for all level 1 and 2 personnel is recommended.
Shellock FG. Reference Manual for Magnetic Resonance Safety, Implants, and Devices. 2012 ed. Los Angeles, CA: Biomedical Research Publishing Group; 2012.
Kanal E, et al. American College of Radiology White Paper on MRI safety. AJR 2007;188:1-27.
Kanal E, Barkovich AJ, Bell C, et al. ACR Guidance Document on MR Safe Practices: 2013. JMRI 2013;37:501–530. Available from: http://www.ismrm.org/smrt/files/24011_ftp.pdf. [Accessed 24 July 2018]