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From RF shield to detector choice: Designing a safer MR suite

by Lauren Dubinsky , Senior Reporter
From the September 2018 issue of DOTmed HealthCare Business News magazine


FerraAlert Halo II Plus can also determine the location of the ferromagnetic object, which can save the facility a great deal of time.

“Rather than having to do a complete pat-down on someone, the system will point to the right pocket, for example,” said Kopp. “Showing locations helps to not slow down the process.”
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New Joint Commission requirements order facilities to log all ferromagnetic incidents whether they result in injury or not. Kopp recently developed a comprehensive image capture solution and diagnostic software package that helps facilities generate reports for those incidents.

Mednovus, which manufactures the SAFESCAN Target Scanner, has focused its efforts on making it more sensitive so it’s better able to distinguish between ferromagnetic and non-ferromagnetic objects.

Kemp Massengill, president and quality assurance director at Mednovus, described the tool as offering superior sensitivity, which can be credited in part to its handheld design.

Image courtesy of Kopp Development
“Since the signal from a ferromagnetic threat decreases to the cube of the distance, having the sensors close to the threat is obviously important,” he said. “For gurney-bound patients, the signal in the centers of pillars set at a doorway of 48 inches is very small.”

Another ferromagnetic detector manufacturer offering a handheld solution to eliminate adverse safety events in the MR suite is Aegys. The control interface for Aegys’ Ceia PD240CH Handheld detector allows the user to choose if they want an acoustic or vibration alarm, a functionality built with the patient experience in mind.

“The vibration mode of detection versus audible alarms means that patient agitation is mitigated during the important pre-imaging screening process,” said Joseph Barwick, co-founder of Aegys.

Adverse events and spatial gradients
The rate of MR adverse events reportedly increased by 500 percent from 2000 to 2009, while scan utilization only increased by 114 percent. This research raises the questions: what is accounting for it and is this trend continuing?

“The biggest contributing factor to the increase is the steepness of the spatial gradient of the MR magnet,” explained Kopp.

If someone is holding a scalpel, he explained, they might feel a tug with older MR magnets as the magnetic field got stronger. However, the magnetic field with newer systems is more compact, so they may not feel anything as they walk into the room and then suddenly the scalpel is pulled from their hand.
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