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Avoiding Burns from Electrodes and Cables during MRI Exams

Armen Hareyan's picture

A recent FDA article in Nursing2006 describes second and third degree burns in patients undergoing MRI exams while they were wearing ECG electrodes and cables. Many of these burns were discovered only after the exam was over and some were severe enough to require plastic surgery.

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The problem is that the radiofrequency fields created during an MRI exam can heat ECG cables and electrodes, seriously burning the underlying skin. This hazard is likely to increase as the number of MRI exams goes up, and as more patients need ECG monitoring during their MRI procedures.

The article recommends a number of ways to reduce the risk of these kinds of burns. Here are some of them: