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- Device and object screening

- Designation of MR Safe / MR Conditional status

- Reporting of MR Safety incidents

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Ferromagnetic detection systems are currently available that are simple to operate, capable of detecting even very small ferromagnetic objects external to the patient, and now, for the first time, differentiating between ferromagnetic and nonferromagnetic materials. While the use of conventional metal detectors is not recommended, the use of ferromagnetic detection systems is recommended as an adjunct to thorough and conscientious screening of persons and devices approaching Zone IV. It should be reiterated that their use is in no way meant to replace a thorough screening practice, which rather should be supplemented by their usage.”

“Ferromagnetic detection systems have been demonstrated to be highly effective as a quality assurance tool, verifying the successful screening and identifying ferromagnetic objects which were not discovered by conventional screening methods. It is recommended that new facility construction anticipate the use of ferromagnetic detection screening in Zone II and provide for installation of the devices in a location which facilitates use and more


Starting January 1, 2009 inpatient and outpatient accredited facilities will need to abide by the new Risk Management provisions of The Joint Commission Environment of Care standard. This new standard specifically cites Sentinel Event Alerts as one external reference that must be considered in defining risks. For MRI facilities, this automatically means Sentinel Event Alert #38

Sentinel Event Alert #38:
Preventing accidents and injuries in the MRI suite
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The Joint Commissioin Imaging Checklist from 2016 can be downloaded from here: download pdf file

The Joint Commission Revised Requirements for Diagnostic Imaging Standards can be downloaded from here: download pdf file



Suites for MRI equipment shall be planned to conform to the four-zone screening and access control protocols identified in the American College of Radiology’s “Guidance Document for Safe MR Practices.

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MRI Safety Program Assessment will be required on Medical Physicist / MR Scientist´s annual QC test performed after July 1, 2016

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On October 25th and 26th, 2011, FDA called a special session to address the increasing numbers of MRI accidents. Ferromagnetic Detectors were one of the main topics discussed at the meeting, and it was determined that when added to existing safety procedures, Ferromagnetic Detectors are a very helpful and needed tool for MRI Safety.

FDA Patient Safety endorses ACR Guidance Document and Recommends it to All MRI Providerswatch video


The New MRI Design Guide from Department of Veterans Affairs Recommends Use of Ferromagnetic Detectors read more



Safety Guidelines for Magnetic Resonance Imaging Equipment in Clinical Use. Information related to Ferromagnetic Detectors is highlighted on pages: 26, 29, 38, 39, 43 and 58. read more

For years Kopp Development Inc. has been leading the way in ferromagnetic detection for MRI Safety. Our reputation and extensive field record speak for themselves. Today, our FerrAlert™ products are being used in many well-known and respected medical centers.

FerrAlert™ is the only ferromagnetic detection system on the market that has extensive, long-term documented performance. A scientific paper on FerrAlert™, co-written by Dr. Emanuel Kanal and Dr. Steven Thomas, was presented at the ASNR 43rd Annual Meeting.

“The apparatus shows excellent sensitivity and specificity for detecting even small ferromagnetic articles on patients prior to MR imaging.”

Emanuel Kanal, MD, FACR, FISMRM, AANG
Chair of the ACR Panel on MRI Safety
Professor of Radiology and Neuroradiology
University of Pittsburg Medical Center

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From Inspector General Review

On April 10, 2008 INSPECTOR GENERAL released a review of one of our VA customers facility; Independent Outpatient Clinic, Columbus, OH in which the Ferrous Metal Detector Initiative was sited as an "organizational strength" and a "reported accomplishment".

“A ferromagnetic object taken into the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) magnet’s stray field can be pulled into the magnet’s core at high speed causing serious injury, damage, and downtime. This phenomenon is known as the “projectile effect.” Serious incidents of the “projectile effect” have been reported by numerous medical institutions and have involved such objects as gas cylinders, chairs, respirators, intravenous poles, and smaller objects. Such occurrences can result in the loss of imaging time due to repairs and/or result in injury to patients or staff. The Radiology Supervisor recognized the need to initiate ferrous metal screening and installed two detectors in the MRI suite. The detectors are used as ancillary screening devices to improve patient safety by supplementing traditional safety programs, training, and primary screening methods.

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