The potential for adverse events is rising in the MR suite

por Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | September 20, 2021
From the September 2021 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

“If you have to log every time you take a patient monitor in the room, it's another drain on already being short staffed,” said Kopp. “We try to keep that in mind with all of our products and we try not to require any additional effort on the part of the technologist.”

The system generates a series of reports that, in addition to satisfying the Joint Commission requirement, gives managers the information they need to safely and effectively oversee the MR room.

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Enforcing the dress code
It’s well known that certain articles of clothing may contain ferromagnetic properties, which can pose a hazard in the MR, but in recent years a new safety threat has emerged from an unlikely place. Cosmetic companies have introduced magnetic eyelashes, which are faux eyelashes with tiny magnets that attach to magnetic eyeliner.

Thankfully, the worst thing that could happen if a patient doesn’t remove their magnetic eyelashes during the MR exam is image artifacts, according to Anna Srb, director of marketing and sales at Kopp Development. But other things like sportswear made with metallic thread could result in more serious consequences, such as burns.

When it comes to ensuring the patient is not wearing something that will react to the MR magnet, handheld detectors are especially useful. Kopp Development offers the FerrAlert Target Scanner for ensuring a patient is not wearing anything that will create problems.

Aegys Group offers two different handheld detectors. The PD240CH and PD240CH-Z4 handheld devices offer a combination of ferromagnetic and metal detectors. “That provides value for the use of handheld detectors since you can quickly screen things that you see, such as jewelry, and determine whether they're ferrous or non-ferrous,” said Joseph Barwick, founder of Aegys.

The handheld devices produce an RF field instead of using a magnet to detect the presence of an object. Because of that, it is safe to use around the patient’s face and head, and doesn’t affect electrical devices.

Physical barriers
The MR suite is divided up into different safety zones, and each one can present its own safety challenges. Using physical barriers is a practical and effective way to prevent people from entering zones they are not cleared to access. Sometimes this is done with plastic chains, but that can be fatiguing for the technologist who is constantly hooking and unhooking the barrier throughout the day.

Aegys offers a caution barrier product called TechGate that acts similarly to a railroad crossing arm, but rotates down when it’s not in use. A timer is set to allow the technologist to take the patient into the room and once the timer is up, the arm goes up to create a caution barrier.

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