Leucadia, CA, January 15, 2010 --(PR.com
)-- Recently a report surfaced of an incident involving an MRI patient using a popular self-heating thermal wrap. According to the report, the incredibly powerful magnetic field of the MRI scanner, typically up to 60,000 times the strength of the Earth's magnetic field, pulled the adhesive wrap off of the patient and sent it flying into the central tube of the scanner. Fortunately, the patient was not injured, but the incident identified a largely-unknown potential MRI safety risk with these products.
The thermal self-heating wrap products in question include iron-containing warming disks embedded in the wrap. Many iron-containing materials can become dangerous magnetically-attracted projectiles when brought near MRI scanners. This can jeopardize patients and staff, as well as millions of dollars of MRI equipment.
To aid in screening for these hazards, many safety-conscious MRI providers use SAFESCAN ferromagnetic detectors to help identify potential magnetic projectiles, but can they find materials as small as the thermal heating disks in these popular self-warming wraps?
To respond to this incident and provide information to the worldwide users of the SAFESCAN products, Mednovus has tested exemplars of the self-heating thermal wrap products with both contemporary and legacy SAFESCAN systems, all of which were capable of alarming on the small, iron-containing disks under specified test conditions.
The heating wraps were identified both with the SAFESCAN Intercept Pillar pass-through screening tool, as well as the SAFESCAN Target Scanner hand-held instrument. A video which illustrates one test performed with the Target Scanner has been posted to YouTube, a popular video-sharing website:
As illustrated in the video, the SAFESCAN Target Scanner ferromagnetic detector readily identified the package of self-heating wraps as being magnetic (and a potential hazard in the MRI environment) within the recommended 1-inch detection distance.
Similar tests with the contemporary SAFESCAN Intercept Pillar pass-through system, as well as a legacy SAFESCAN portal product, indicate that the self-heating wraps can also be detected, contingent on the configuration.
Pass-through SAFESCAN detector systems set particularly wide, or those for which the adjustable sensitivity has been turned down from the maximum, will have a greater likelihood of not generating an alarm, particularly if the iron-containing heat wrap passes slowly through the center of the aperture. Detection of these products in the SAFESCAN pass-through systems is greatly enhanced as the wrap passes through the detection aperture closer to the sensors.
It is important to note that even the most advanced technology is not 100 percent foolproof and ferromagnetic detectors should not be used as a replacement for contemporary best practice pre-MRI screening procedures. The safety of MRI patients, visitors and staff are best served by the combination of conscientious medical screening by trained individuals and quality ferromagnetic detection products used with proper technique.
The Mednovus SAFESCAN products can be extremely useful to MRI providers to help identify unknown and concealed ferromagnetic materials, such as these self-heating thermal wraps, in the clothing, or on the body of, MRI patients and visitors.
For additional information on the current SAFESCAN ferromagnetic detection systems, please visit the Mednovus website:
Mednovus, Inc. is a company that offers quality ferromagnetic detection equipment for MRI safety pre-screening and MRI safety consulting services.
SAFESCAN and Intercept Pillar are registered trademarks of Mednovus, Inc. Target Scanner is a pending trademark of Mednovus, Inc.