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Ensuring Safety for Infants Undergoing Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Laura A. Stokowski, RN, MS et al.; Advances in Neonatal Care 2005, Vol. 5, No. 1; p 14-2


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a powerful and versatile diagnostic tool. Applications of MR technology are rapidly expanding for all patient populations, including infants receiving newborn intensive care. Millions of MR examinations have been conducted without incident or harm, yet rare accidents in the MR environment continue to occur. The infant is vulnerable to many of the potential hazards of MRI, including projectile accidents, radiofrequency electromagnetic field effects, noise hazards, physiologic instability, and adverse effects of transport, positioning, handling, and sedation. The MRI-compatible incubator is a promising means for safe imaging of smaller and less stable infants than previously possible. Proper education of staff and meticulous attention to detail in preparing the infants for MR examinations are the keys to safety during neonatal MRI.