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Physical MR safety

November 27, 2014
From the October 2014 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

The direction of door swing creates additional challenges when implementing a FMDS. The previous suggestions address the typical issues experienced with in-swing door applications (in which the door swings into the scanner room), but out-swing door applications tend to be more challenging. One solution is to install the ferromagnetic detection system on the face of the door jamb just inside the MR room. When a ferromagnetic detection system is placed on the jamb or walls immediately outside the MR room, the staff and a patient have a more time to respond to a positive alarm before entering the room. This is not the case when the ferromagnetic system is located inside the MR scanner room. Typically, a person will take an additional step or two before being able to respond to a positive alarm, which will place a person well within the suite. Depending on the size of the room and location of the MR within the room, the possibility of an accident could greatly increase. For this reason, siting FMDS within the scanner room is typically strongly discouraged.

Focal screeners
It is important to consider the FMDS technology being implemented in an effort to develop an optimal screening process for a given situation. While mass screeners are excellent tools for ambulatory patients, non-ambulatory patients represent a unique situation. Non-ambulatory patients, which are transported to the MR via stretcher or wheelchair, cannot easily be screened by a mass screener, wall mount or portable entryway ferromagnetic detection systems. In these instances, a focal handheld ferromagnetic system offers a distinct advantage. A handheld system allows staff to screen the patient and to discern if there is ferromagnetic material on the individual (versus the transport equipment or ancillary equipment carried on the transport equipment). Particularly in a hospital setting where there are a significant proportion of non-ambulatory patients, the coordinated and combined use of both mass

FMDS and focal FMDS screening typically represents the best option to provide safety screening to all persons entering the MI area.

Implementing ferromagnetic safety protocols
There are many things to consider when implementing a FMDS as part of a facility’s safety protocols. Users must identify the goals of implementing an FMDS. For example, is the focus on patient screening, protecting the scanner or a combination of screen and protection? The ideal solution would be a multiple system approach. One system would be positioned near patient changing rooms. This system would be extremely sensitive and would be setup to detect small ferrous objects. A second system would be positioned at the entryway to the suite. This system would be set up to detect ferrous objects that could do serious damage to the scanner or could be responsible for bodily injury to a patient. Additionally, users must consider the various technologies and identify the technology that will yield the best results.

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