People who work in or around Zones III and IV of the MRI suite are exposed to very strong magnetic fields. These magnetic fields can affect internal devices or foreign materials in the body, such as pacemakers, aneurysm clips, other implants, and joint replacements. These items can move or vibrate, become "activated" unintentionally, or become hot as a result of exposure to the magnetic field. Because of this risk, all individuals who enter Zone III (right outside the MRI room itself) or Zone IV (the Magnet room itself) must be screened to ensure that they don't have an implanted device or other condition that would make it unsafe for them to be near the MRI magnet.
All Radiology faculty, MRI staff, and others whose job duties put them in close proximity to MRI magnets are required to complete an MRI Screening Questionnaire. Radiology faculty and MRI staff complete this screening at hire and with any acquisition of new metal implants and annually attest to whether they have experienced pertinent health changes. Others who may occasionally enter Zone III or IV (for example, an ICU nurse who needs to monitor a patient during an MRI) are screened when access is needed.
What happens if you DO have a METAL implant?
- If you work in close proximity to MRI magnets as part of your day-to-day primary job, you will be contacted to get further information if you have a device or other condition that could put you at risk. Occupational Health will review that information to ensure that the implant is safe before clearing you.
- If you don't work near an MRI on a routine basis as part of your regular day-to-day job duties, the safest thing for you will be to avoid the MRI and request other arrangements if you are requested to be near an MRI. It is therefore important that questionnaires be completed ahead of time, to allow ample time for alternate arrangements to be made, if necessary.