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Disinfection protocols for MR coils are more important than ever

by Lisa Chamoff, Contributing Reporter | September 02, 2020
MRI Parts And Service
From the September 2020 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Stevens emphasized that in light of the novel coronavirus, it's important that the cleaning and disinfection of any MR system or components must comply with all applicable laws and regulations within the jurisdiction in which the system is located.

“With this in mind, increased frequency of cleaning and disinfecting may be required due to the novel coronavirus,” Stevens said. “Philips has investigated several disinfection methods and we've determined that the best and safest way to care for Philips equipment is by following the guidelines in the ‘Instruction for Use’ (IFU) document supplied with each system.”

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Care should be taken when cleaning both hard-surface and closed-cell soft coils, meaning urethane plastic or foam covered flex coils.

“Careful inspection should be done on soft coils first to make sure there are no breaks in the surface,” McClellan said. “The underlying open-cell foam cannot be disinfected and so the coil should be replaced. It is also recommended to use a black light flashlight for inspection to help highlight any biological contamination, i.e., blood and other bodily fluids, and make sure cleaning is complete.”

Users should contact the manufacturer about damage right away.

"If damage is noticeable on mats, sandbags or earphone sponge pads they should be replaced immediately," Stevens said. "Coils or cables that are cracked or damaged should be removed from patient use and a Philips service representative contacted to repair or replace the damaged components."

Endo-cavity coils follow the same cleaning procedure, but require the use of higher-level disinfectants such as Cidex OPA or Steranios 2% NG, and have their own specialized procedures to follow depending on the model, McClellan said.

Cleaning after COVID
The overall process hasn’t changed much in light of the novel coronavirus, but extra precautions should be taken.

“Although everyone is certainly now more aware of possible contamination, the recommended solutions are generally effective on SARS-COV-2, as listed by the EPA,” although some consideration should be given to additional disinfectant exposure times, McClellan said.

It's important to clean not only the sections of the coil that come in contact with the patient, but also the output cables and housing of the connector, said Wes Solmos, sales manager of MRI Coil Repair.

"Don't forget to pay special attention to the accessory pads that are utilized with the coils," Solmos said. "We often see that these pads are neglected and have stains and tears. These pads can be easily replaced by contacting us directly."

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