Approaches to Mitigate Risk of Thermal Injury (“Thermal Injury Precautions”):

  • Communication between the patient and technologist before, during, and after the scan is the cornerstone of burn prevention. Instruct the patient before entering the scanner bore that they should report any unusual sensation. The technologist should also verbally check in with the patient periodically during the scan. If the patient reports discomfort during the scan, STOP and reassess. 
  • Removal: Inspect the patient’s skin surface prior to MRI. Any conductive material outside the patient should be removed (e.g., piercings, medication patches). Unnecessary leads and cables should be removed.
  • Positioning: Do not allow the patient’s skin to touch the inner walls of the scanner bore. Uncross arms and legs. Position any necessary cable as close to the center of the bore as possible. Eliminate any crossing or loops of cable.
  • Insulation: Any necessary cables or devices with conductive components must be distanced and insulated from the patient’s skin. Separate the patient’s skin from the inside of the scanner bore. Use sponges, pads, blankets, etc.
  • Heat Sink: Dry cold packs can be used to decrease risk for thermal injury in the presence of superficial devices (e.g., skin staples) that cannot be removed and tattoos.