As a MRI technologists, it is not only our job to capture high-quality diagnostic images, but also to maintain a safe working environment for our patients, visitors and fellow employees. It is because of this promise to keep a safe working environment for everyone that we honor, celebrate and educate about MRI Safety Week. This occasion is celebrated nationally during the last week of July, but due to events happening around the MRI department at that time, Cincinnati Children’s will be honoring MRI Safety Week the third week in November (14th-18th).
Photo: An MRI technologist screening a parent for any ferromagnetic materials.
The MRI community created and supports the continual awareness of this annual week of safety because it stems from a very serious safety event that happened in 2001 at the Westchester Medical Center. A six-year-old boy was receiving an MRI scan under sedation when someone brought a ferromagnetic oxygen tank into the MRI environment. The oxygen tank was violently attracted to the scanner, traveling upwards of 20 to 30 feet per second, which fractured the child’s skull and ultimately killed him. We, the MRI community, have certainly learned from this traumatic situation and will continue to research, learn and teach proper safety starting with MRI Safety Week, continuing with each individual encounter.
Photo: An MRI technologist screening for any ferromagnetic materials on a young patient.
Related article: MRI Safety: What to Leave at the Door Before an MRI Scan
This year the MRI Division will be hosting numerous educational opportunities throughout the hospital. A table topped with an assortment of magnetic items, MRI equipment, a ferromagnetic detecting wand, and more will be located outside the cafeteria. Accompanying the table will be an MRI tech to answer any questions and give some general MRI knowledge. We will also be playing various MRI-inspired trivia games and challenges with our staff to deliver safety lessons in an enjoyable and exciting fashion. Although we try to get the education across in fun, new ways each year, it does not overshadow the importance of learning from past mistakes and continuing to make the future better and safer than ever before!