MRI Video Safety – Rocket Effect and Electronic Implants

An MRI video is a great way to teach how MRI works. MRI uses powerful magnets and radio waves to produce detailed images of the body. While magnets and radio waves are inherently safe, a strong magnetic field can attract magnetic elements and negatively impact electronic equipment.

The most serious danger posed by the magnetic field is the impact of missiles. The rocket effect occurs when the magnetic elements are quickly pulled into the lumen (middle) of the MR scanner. Standard 1.5 Tesla MR scanners can attract items such as keys, paper clips or scissors at a rate of forty miles per hour. The greater the mass of the element, the more attractive the force on it. Heavier items, such as wheelchairs, can be pulled at the same speed as small objects. The impact of the missiles will not only damage the equipment, but can cause someone to be injured between the element and the MR scanner.

A high-quality MRI safety video also teaches other serious risks posed by the magnetic field. Magnets can wrap and remove metal components in electronic devices, power tools and surgical implants. Aneurysms can be pulled or twisted from their original position, resulting in serious internal bleeding. Not all metal objects are magnetic, but it is impossible to know whether the body is magnetic by sight only. Each item brought to MR Suite is tested to ensure its integrity for the selected MR environment.

The magnetic field adversely affects the electromagnetic devices that are brought into the MR group. This poses a potential danger to those who have surgically implanted medical devices. Pacemakers, nerve stimulants, insulin pumps, and intra-mold pumps can be disrupted inside the MR scanner room.

Although not as dangerous as the impact of missiles or disruption of medical implants, a strong magnet can also erase information from storage devices. Some common items that contain stored information are ID badges, credit cards, mobile phones and flash drives. A good MRI safety video will include protecting yourself from these and other risks.

Hospital staff and the MR facility working near the MR scanner should be aware of the strong magnetic field and the risks associated with it. For staff not officially trained in the radiology program, an MR safety program should be developed for each individual facility. To complete home safety training, you should add a high-quality, modern level 1 MRI video to your curriculum.