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Tips for extending the life of your coils

by Lisa Chamoff, Contributing Reporter | September 11, 2018
MRI
From the September 2018 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine


How to connect and disconnect coils
Brownley notes that clinicians should remove the anterior portion of the coil by pulling straight up.

“If the anterior is removed at an angle, the connections between the anterior and posterior sections could become damaged,” Brownley says. “The same is true when reinstalling the anterior section. If the components are assembled using the incorrect angle, it’s possible to cause damage to the physical and electronic connections between the sections.”

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Be cautious when attempting repairs
Brownley notes that opening the housing on an MR coil may increase the risk of electrostatic discharge to the internal components, possibly causing unseen latent damage and electronic failures.

“Employees and patients are put at risk even if repairs are attempted in approved ESD areas,” Brownley says. “If the coil is reassembled without properly routing and relocating internal components and assemblies, image quality problems may arise.”

Attempting a repair without using the proper testing equipment can potentially cause patient damage, including burns.

If there are exposed wires, do not hide it with tape, warns Solmos of MRIcoilrepair.com.

“This needs to be addressed by our repair lab immediately,” Solmos says. “Even though there may not be any immediate electrical performance issues, exposed wires will lead to larger problems and also present a safety hazard for the patient.”

Solmos advises clinicians to take the extra time to package coils securely before they are shipped to a facility for repairs.

“Make sure to leave 2 to 3 inches of packaging material between the coil and the inner wall of the box,” Solmos says. “Do not wrap the cables too tightly, as this may lead to damage of the strain relief.”

Solmos notes that replacement pads keep patients comfortable and also help with the longevity of your MR coil.

How to clean coils
According to Brownley, clean the coil with a cloth that has been dampened in a solution of 10 percent bleach and 90 percent tap water, or 30 percent isopropyl alcohol and 70 percent tap water.

“Exposing the housing of a coil to unapproved chemical disinfectants may cause physical damage which may not be covered under the OEM warranty or contract,” Brownley says.

Coils should never be submerged and cleaning agents should never be sprayed or poured directly onto coil. Coils should always be detached from the scanner before they are cleaned. After cleaning, wait until the coil has completely dried before reattaching the connector.

Blawat notes that coils can be cleared of debris in between regular cleanings by using a can of compressed air.

“But make sure the coil is outside of the scan room,” Blawat says.

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