Frank Shields : Ferro Alert.
MR Scanners generate an enormously strong magnetic field which, because of the significant Technical and economic hurdles in generating the magnetic field, is never purposely turned Off, but is always in the ‘on’ condition, 24-7 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week). This extremely powerful magnetic field, invisible but ever-present, continuously attracts anything which is ferromagnetic (generally containing iron or steel). It can and will attract and pull any ferromagnetic object such as hand tools, oxygen bottles, scissors, chairs, IV stands, or even floor buffers toward the magnet. Worse, if they are brought within a few feet of the scanner, the magnetic field is so strong that It can actually lift hundred pound objects off the floor and pull them, as airborne projectile mmissiles, to the inside bore of the scanner, accelerating to over 60 mph. Personnel and patients in the path of the object or inside the bore of the scanner are at grave risk if this happens. Such accidents have led to numerous “close calls”, many injuries to patients and personnel, and even death. Although obviously not as important as the human safety aspects, these objects almost always damage the MR scanner as well.
Ferrous based materials, most stainless steel materials are not compatible with the MRI environment when these materials are exposed to strong magnetic field of the MRI Machine, they will be pulled violently towards the bore of the magnet with great force and speed resulting in injury or damage to the equipment.
For this every individual and the materials must be screened for the potential threat to safety prior to entering to the MRI room.
Frank Shields markets a product from a leading vendor in the field of ferromagnetic detector.This product can be tailored to fit into pre-existing doorways or operated free standing walk through devise similar to metal detectors prevalent in airports. This devise can detect objects as small as hairpins and also alerts the screener as to location of the object. Testing of “FerrAlert Halo” revealed that 44.3% of patients already prescreened were identified by halo as still possessing ferrous object on or in them.