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MR Safety

An AOSR initiative to increase awareness and ensure safe use of MRI. MR Safety is part of AsiaSafe activities.

AOSR MR Safety

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) does not use ionizing radiation and provides exceptional soft tissue contrast. It is increasingly used in healthcare diagnostics. The advances in MR technology and the higher magnet strengths require increased care for its safe use. The three electromagnetic fields in MRI- the static magnetic field, the time-varying gradient magnetic field, and the radio-frequency field- can lead to different safety risks.

Adverse events associated with exposure to these electromagnetic fields may include vertigo, nausea, peripheral nerve stimulation, heat deposition, acoustic noise, biomedical implant and device risks and projectile hazards with ferromagnetic objects accidentally brought into the scanning suite. Always remember the magnet is ALWAYS ON. 
Incident-reporting systems are essential to log and learn from these incidents to avoid future occurrences. By understanding the causes, prompt action for prevention of similar incidents can be effected. Avoiding human injury is paramount, with potential attendant litigation costs. However, several studies have reported that MR safety incidents are grossly underreported. It is important that MR technologists/radiographers, radiologists and all users of MRI be aware, and do not underestimate the "dangers" of MRI when the proper guidelines are not adhered to.  There is a danger that because near misses have not resulted in human injury or death or damage to the scanner, the short-cuts' used become normalized and complacency amongst all MR users/operators increases.

Improve MR Safety

Guidelines & Policies

The results of our AOSR MR safety survey conducted in 2021 highlight the need to improve several aspects of MR safety in the AOSR countries including the need to develop specific guidelines and protocols for MR safety.  Read the 2022 report of the 2021 MR safety survey from our general news section.

Regular Training

increased awareness for MR safety and regular training for radiologists, MR radiographers/ technologists, nurses and all others who request for and use MRI is critical to ensure safe utilization of MRI. In addition, MRI providers are strongly encouraged to establish incident reporting systems. 

Marking Medical Devices

MR labeling information for implants and devices are very important. Technologists/radiographers and the radiologists will need to ascertain patients with specific devices can be scanned safely or what parameters for scanning have to be adjusted.  Devices and implants can be MR safe, MR conditional or MR unsafe.  All medical device labels are to include the name and address of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor, along with adequate directions for use. If not, it is important to obtain the information to make the decision on whether the MR scan can proceed safely. Note that a device which is MR safe at 1.5 Tesla may not be necessarily MR safe at 3 Tesla or even higher magnet strengths.

MR Safety on AOSR YouTube