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MRI FAQs
 
Q. What does MRI stand for?
A. Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
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Q. Do I need to let someone know about my MRI?
A. Yes.   The EH&S Radiation Safety Office maintains an inventory of all MRI units used for research on campus, and can provide help to you in setting up your safety program.
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Q. If the 5 gauss line for my MRI is inside the bore, do I need to take any safety precautions?
A. Yes you must still post the area with the appropriate signage to warn of hazards that are present.
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Q. What room postings are required for my MRI?
A. All entrances must be posted with an appropriate warning sign for areas that exceed 5 gauss that mentions the hazards for pacemakers and other metallic implants.   Other warnings for Magnetic Media and ATM/Credit cards are recommended at the 10 gauss level.   A warning about potential projectiles from tools and equipment is needed at the 30 gauss level.
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Q. What is the 5 gauss line?
A. This line specifies the perimeter around a MR scanner within which the static magnetic fields are higher than 5 gauss.  5 gauss and below are considered 'safe' levels of static magnetic field exposure for the general public.
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Q. Who may operate an MRI?
A. Only trained operators shall operate an MRI unit and must control access to the MRI suite and perform individual assessment of anyone prior to allowing access to any area that is beyond the 5 gauss line.
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Q. Do I need to wear any PPE?
A. No PPE is required for MRI protection but universal precautions are recommended.
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Q. Does the MRI suite need protective barriers?
A. Metal detectors at the entrance are recommended if not specifically required by the manufacturer and/or owner operator.
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Q. Do MRI Operators need training?
A. Yes.  MRI safety training programs shall be provided to the users of any MRI unit.  In general, this training is provided by the principal investigator overseeing the MRI unit.
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Q. Do ancillary workers need MRI need training?
A. Yes.   Anyone who will need to cross the 5 gauss line must have awareness training at a minimum.   If the worker does not cross the 5 gauss line, the only training needed is to be able to recognize the door postings.   Please contact Radiation Safety at 314-362-3476 for more information.
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Q. What happens when an MRI unit is quenched?
A. There is a rare possibility that the liquid helium will suddenly become gaseous.  This can occur if the superconductor becomes 'normal' resulting in the dissipation of heat and evaporation of cryogens.   An appropriate exhaust system should already be attached to the magnet so that in the event of a quench, the gases will be vented to the outside and the helium does not become an asphyxiation hazard.   If the exhaust system fails, the patient must be removed very quickly.  An emergency procedure should be established to facilitate their removal.
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Q. Is it necessary to Quench an MRI unit in an emergency?
A. The only time you should manually quench an MRI unit is in an emergency where the life of an individual is at risk.   If someone is trapped but not seriously injured do not quench the unit without approval of the MRI responsible individual.   If a piece of equipment is stuck to the unit you must contact the MRI responsible individual before attempting to retrieve the item.
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24-hr Emergency Phone:
314-299-1322