News | March 04, 2009

The Joint Commission Warns of Poor Infection Control in MRIs

March 5, 2009 – The Joint Commission is alerting hospitals is alerting hospitals and imaging centers the importance of infection control in MRI facilities, stemming from an article by Peter Rothschild, M.D., author of "Preventing Infections in MRI: Best Practices" and founder of Patient Comfort Systems.

Dr. Rothschild explains, "The Joint Commission is clearly concerned over the lack of infection control in the MRI suite. They will, in the future, closely examine this area, and properly train their inspectors to physically enter MRI rooms for a more definitive inspections. The areas under greatest scrutiny will be: 1) existence of an infection control policy; 2) how and when the MRI was cleaned; 3) who are the individuals performing this cleaning and what is their safety training; 4) examining all the table pads and positioners to see if they are torn or frayed. Inspection may even include a black light to reveal biological material embedded in the pads, on the table or within the MRI bore itself.

"The Joint Commission clearly cannot assure the public that an accredited hospital is safe without thoroughly evaluating the MRI suite. The lack of even basic infection control, such as hand washing or cleaning between patients, is well known by technologists operating the MRI and radiologists reading the MRIs.”

Dr. Rothschild has also published an 11-step infection control policy designed for the MRI center.

"An MRI is a very complex and dangerous area to clean,” he said. “It is unreasonable to think it can be cleaned safely and effectively by untrained personnel."

The Joint Commission has made it clear that they are following the CDC guidelines on infection control. These guidelines specifically state that a clean sheet is not a barrier to infectious agents. However, this is usually the only thing used by imaging centers to protect their patients. The CDC guidelines also make clear that the pads on the table as well as the coils must be cleaned between patients, not merely covered with a sheet. Most importantly, the CDC states that if table positioners or pads are torn or frayed they must be replaced. Therefore, the common practice of simply placing a clean sheet over torn, contaminated pads and covering up the smell with air freshener is a clear breach of basic infection control. Another common violation of CDC standards at outpatient MRI centers is the incredibly dangerous practice of having employees take contaminated laundry home to wash in their own household washing machines in order to save money. Not only can this further the spread of infectious agents throughout the community, but since their washing machines often lack any special sanitizing capabilities, these employees risk contaminating their own family's clothing and thus even further spreading diseases.

To request a copy of Dr. Rothschild's white paper, entitled "Preventing Infections in MRI: Best Practices for Infection Control in and around MRI Suites," and the "11 Steps for Preventing Infection in MRI" checklist, contact Doug Kohl, Sierra Communications, (209) 586-5887, or [email protected].

For more information:

Related Content

Technology | Focused Ultrasound Therapy | June 19, 2018
EDAP TMS SA has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its Focal One device for...
Elekta Unity High-Field MR-Linac Receives CE Mark
News | Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) | June 18, 2018
Elekta announced that its Elekta Unity magnetic resonance radiation therapy (MR/RT) system has received CE mark,...
Washington University in St. Louis Begins Clinical Treatments With ViewRay MRIdian Linac
News | Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) | June 14, 2018
June 14, 2018 — The Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in S
Reduced hippocampal volume on MRI

This figure shows reduced hippocampal volume over the course of 6 years as seen on progressive volumetric analysis and also coronal MRI evaluations (arrows).Progressive volume loss in the mesial temporal lobe on MRI is a characteristic imaging feature of AD. This patient was a case of Alzheimer’s Dementia.


News | Neuro Imaging | June 12, 2018
According to a UCLA Medical Center study, a new technology shows the potential to help doctors better determine when...
High Prevalence of Atherosclerosis Found in Lower Risk Patients
News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | June 08, 2018
Whole-body magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) found a surprisingly high prevalence of atherosclerosis in people...
Philips Receives FDA 510(k) for Ingenia Elition MR System
Technology | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | June 07, 2018
Philips announced that it has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its...
New Studies Highlight MRI Use for Prostate Cancer Screening and Management
News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | May 21, 2018
Three new studies presented at the 113th annual meeting of the American Urological Association (AUA) highlight the...
MRI "Glove" Provides New Look at Hand Anatomy

An experiment showed that a glove-shaped detector could yield images of bones, cartilage, and muscles interacting as a hand 'plays piano.' Traditionally, MRI had required patients to remain strictly motionless.Image courtesy of Nature Biomedical Engineering; Bei Zhang, Martijn Cloos, Daniel Sodickson

News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | May 17, 2018
A new kind of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) component in the shape of a glove delivers the first clear images of...
FDA Clears Medic Vision's iQMR MRI Image Enhancement Technology

Image courtesy of Medic Vision Imaging Solutions

Technology | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | May 15, 2018
May 15, 2018 — Medic Vision Imaging Solutions Ltd. announced that the U.S.
Impaired Brain Pathways May Cause Attention Problems After Stroke
News | Neuro Imaging | May 10, 2018
Damage to some of the pathways that carry information throughout the brain may be responsible for attention deficit in...
Overlay Init