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Everything you need to consider before embarking on an RF shielding project

by Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | September 09, 2022
From the September 2022 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Intraoperative MR
The doors are especially important when shielding an intraoperative MR (iMR) suite. A few years ago, ETS-Lindgren partnered with IMRIS and Deerfield Imaging to open a new iMR suite at a hospital in the southeastern U.S.

“Those rooms tend to be more complex, not necessarily from a shielding perspective, although there is a degree of complexity with that,” said Kellogg. “Typically, they're looking for things like sliding doors because you need this large opening to either move the magnet through or transport a patient through.”

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The project involved installing three RF doors. An automatic double RF door was placed between the operating room (OR) and diagnostic room, so patients could be transferred easily to the magnet without taking up too much space in the OR.

A five-foot-wide single sliding RF door was installed in the MR control room instead of a swinging door to prevent the risk of collision. The last door was a three-foot-wide swinging door that allowed access to the iMR suite from the control room.

Magnetic fields can have a negative effect on implanted medical devices and electronic equipment such as computers, so it can’t be subjected to five gauss or higher fields. Since the floor to ceiling space below the magnet was too small, the five-gauss field had to be contained from extending into that work area.

ETS-Lindgren put M36 silicon steel underneath the slab of the floor. Many of the existing communication lines and HVAC ducts were installed lower than usual so they were far enough away from the five-gauss field.

Kellogg expects this trend of bringing imaging technologies into the OR to continue to grow. Providing neurosurgeons with these high-resolution iMR images allows them to visualize anatomy and ensure devices are placed correctly.

“That's one the area that you see a lot of activity,” said Kellogg. “There are a lot of facilities that are looking to not only have intraoperative suites where you're doing an operation and imaging at the same time, but also to check how procedures are going to make sure they’ve removed all of a tumor in real time.”

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Steven Ford

Misinformation in your RF shield planning story

September 14, 2022 11:06

It's certainly not true that if the MRI magnet 5g line is inside the RF room, then magnetic shielding is of no concern. Every MRI manufacturer warns against moving large steel masses relatively far away from the magnet (such as trains and elevators) that can damage the image quality and may require magnetic shielding to mitigate.

Likewise, making generalizations about OEM vs. independent service providers is not always accurate. OEMs make mistakes and take shortcuts, too. We've corrected many problems that were created by OEM providers and their planners and contractors.

Clinics and hospitals who are trying to learn about MRI planning and RF shields are well-advised to find a trusted MRI partner who can give them personalized advice. They should avoid any provider who does not make a trip to the site early in the process to confirm that the site is suitable for an MRI.

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