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Unit Rules / Work Instructions for MRI facility. MRI-08 Emergency Procedures. Name: Last reviewed: 4th July 2011


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MRI-08 Emergency Procedures.

Last reviewed: 4th July 2011

SECTION 1 - INTRODUCTION ________________________________________________________ 2

PURPOSE ___________________________________________________________________ 2

SCOPE _____________________________________________________________________ 2

DEFINITIONS _________________________________________________________________ 2

CONTEXT ___________________________________________________________________ 2

SECTION 2 - UNIT RULES ___________________________________________________________ 3

1. EMERGENCY QUENCH & LIQUID HELIUM LEAKS ______________________________________ 3

2. FIRE _____________________________________________________________________ 3

3. FLOOD OR WATER DAMAGE ____________________________________________________ 4

4. MEDICAL EMERGENCY ________________________________________________________ 4

SECTION 3 - RELATED MATERIAL _____________________________________________________ 5

Related Material _______________________________________________________________ 5

SECTION 4 - GOVERNANCE _________________________________________________________ 5

RESPONSIBILITY ______________________________________________________________ 5

VERSION CONTROL AND CHANGE HISTORY ___________________________________________ 5




The purpose of this guideline is to provide procedures to be followed in the event of a fire or MRI related emergency within the MRI facility.


These guidelines for safe work instructions apply to all staff within the MRI facility.


Word/Term Definition

MRI Facility Zones I-IV in the MRI Rooms in the basement of Advanced Technologies Centre (ATC)

Zone III This area is the region in which free access by unscreened non-MR personnel or ferromagnetic objects or equipment can result in serious injury or death as a result of interactions between the individuals or equipment and the MR scanner’s particular environment. These interactions include, but are not limited to, those involving the MR

scanner’s static and time-varying magnetic fields. All access to Zone III is to be strictly restricted, with access to regions within it (including Zone IV, see below) controlled by, and entirely under the supervision of, MR personnel. In the SUT MRI facility, Zone III will be the MRI control room Zone IV This area is synonymous with the MR examination room, i.e. the shielded

room within which the MR scanner is located. Zone IV, by definition, will always be located within Zone III, as it is the MR magnet and its

associated magnetic field that generates the existence of Zone III.


Name Location

Emergency Management




1.1 Emergency quench

In the event of a system quench, all personnel and participants shall be evacuated from the MR examination room as quickly as possible. Access to zones III and IV shall be immediately restricted to all individuals until the arrival of MR equipment service personnel.

Restrictions on ferromagnetic object in the MR examination room shall be maintained until it can be confirmed that the magnetic field has been successfully dissipated, because there may still be a considerable static magnetic field present despite a quench or partial quench of the magnet.

1.2 Liquid helium leaks

If cryogenic gases are observed to have vented partially or completely into the MR

examination room, as evidenced in part by the sudden appearance of white “clouds” or “fog” around or above the MR scanner (ACR 2007), then access to zones III and IV shall be immediately restricted to all individuals until the arrival of MR equipment service personnel. .


2.1 Emergency response procedures

1. The participant will be immediately released from the MR scanner and escorted to an evacuation area.

2. The attending MR personnel will promptly ring security 3333 or fire brigade 000 depending on size of fire, emphasizing that it is the MRI facility and requires specialised non

ferromagnetic equipment.

3. Participants and personnel will be evacuated from the building as per general SUT fire evacuation procedures.

4. If safe to do so, MRI safe fire extinguishers will be used to quench the fire and assist in the control of flames spreading further.

5. When the fire brigade arrives, MR personnel will reiterate that any fire fighting equipment used in Zones III & IV needs to be MRI safe due to the powerful 3T magnetic field of the MR scanner.

6. If the fire is in such a location where Zone III or Zone IV needs to be entered for whatever reason by fire-fighting or emergency response personnel and their fire-fighting and emergency equipment, such as air tanks, crowbars, axes, and defibrillators, a decision to quench a superconducting magnet shall be very seriously considered to protect the health and lives of the emergency responders. Should a quench be performed, appropriately designated MR personnel still need to ensure that all non-MR personnel (including and especially emergent response personnel) continue to be restricted from Zones III and IV until the designated MR personnel has personally verified that the static field is either no longer detectable or at least sufficiently attenuated as to no longer present a potential hazard to one moving by it with, for example, large ferromagnetic objects such as air tanks or axes (ARC 2007).

2.2 Floor wardens



3. Emergency response procedures

1. Deactivate the MR scanner using the emergency electrical shutdown buttons in the event of a major water leak or flood.

2. In the event of extensive flooding the MR facility is to be evacuated and Security and Facilities to be notified immediately.

3. Small water leaks shall be mopped up immediately and Facilities to be notified. 4. Only MR trained personnel will be allowed to enter Zones III and IV during flood water


5. Wet floor signage shall be placed on the floor during flood water clean-up.


4.1 Patient monitoring

Participants with a known heart condition or other medical ailment requiring immediate treatment shall be monitored during scanning by appropriately qualified medical personnel. .

4.2 Resuscitation equipment and personnel

Resuscitation equipment will be available for use by appropriately trained and certified resuscitation staff in the MR control room (Zone III).

A person qualified for L2 resuscitation procedures shall always be on hand during MR imaging of a participant.

From June 2011 the currently staff currently trained to provide resuscitation are Prof Susan Rossell (MRI Principal) and A/Prof David Liley (Senior MRI staff). It is a prerequisite of the radiographer that they also have appropriate training. This will be amended as other senior MRI staff undertake first aid and resuscitation training.

Resuscitation equipment must not be taken into Zone IV as it may be ferromagnetic

4.3 Emergency resuscitation procedures

In the case of cardiac or respiratory arrest or other medical emergency within Zone IV for which emergency medical intervention or resuscitation is required, appropriately trained and certified MR personnel should immediately initiate basic life support or CPR as required by the situation while the patient is being removed from Zone IV to the resuscitation equipment in the MR control room.

Quenching the magnet is not advised for cardiac or respiratory arrest or other medical emergency, since quenching the magnet and having the magnetic field dissipate could easily take more than a minute, and may also cause further hazards.



Related Material

Name Location Document Type




Owner BPsyC radiographer

Next review date 10th Feb 2012


Version Number

Approval Date Approved by Amendment

R1 27/6/2011 Susan Rossell (MRI Principal)

First released version prepared by Vitas Anderson, Angela McKellar & Susan Rossell


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