Recognising the importance of MRI safety

Angela Borella, MRI Network Supervisor at Monash Health, stands next to an MRI machine.

International MRI Safety Week 2021 is from 26 July to 1 August, and it’s the 20th anniversary of the week, which was created after a severe accident in New York that changed how hospitals and imaging departments deal with the strong magnetic fields of MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging).

There can be significant safety challenges when undertaking an MRI scan. Patients (and employees) may have implants or devices, like pacemakers, neurostimulators, cochlear implants, and aneurysm clips and coils, which can harm patients if scanned unknowingly. Equipment, like wheelchairs, oxygen cylinders, and trolleys, can become attracted to the strong magnetic field and become a projectile.

Because of these potential dangers, employee access is limited to MRI rooms unless appropriate screening has been undertaken.

Angela Borella, MRI Network Supervisor at Monash Health, said the week serves as a reminder of why safety was of the utmost importance when performing an MRI.

“International MRI Safety Week is an opportunity for us to recognise and celebrate the advances and improvements in safety over the last twenty years. It is also a great opportunity for us to continue to educate and create awareness within the hospital. We aim to make sure we continue to make safety our priority for all patients, employees, and visitors,” said Angela.

The MRI Technologists and Imaging staff at Monash Health provide outstanding care, ensuring everyone is kept safe in the MRI Departments at Monash Medical Centre, Monash Children’s Hospital, Dandenong Hospital, and Moorabbin Hospital.

Monash Health has MRI Technologists who have advanced training and qualifications in this area, including six MRI Technologists who have passed the American College of Radiology MRI safety exam.

To all the MRI Technologists and Imaging staff at Monash Health: thank you for keeping our patients and employees safe in our MRI environments.