Safety Policy

Here is an overview of the safety rules and regulations currently in place at the Imaging Center. All users are required to attend a full safety inservice prior to independent operation of the scanners.

Facility layout
The IRC follows ACR safety zone rules.

  • Zone 1 is the unrestricted area of the main lobby and the east and south hallways.
  • Zone 2 is the restricted card key accessed north hallway outside of the scanner control rooms. No one is allowed in this zone unless accompanied by a safety trained lab member. A verbal screening for pacemakers will be performed prior to admittance to this zone.
  • Zone 3 consists of the scanner control rooms. Anyone entering this area will be required to remove all loose ferrous metal from their persons and secure such in the lockers provided for this purpose.
  • Zone 4 consists of the MRI magnet rooms. No one may be brought into this area without having completed the MR screening form. This form will have been reviewed and signed by both the subject/patient and the safety trained lab member. Nothing may be brought into this area without the direct authorization of the scan operator.

Lab personnel/Scan operator requirements
All IRC MRI users are required to complete a MRI safety inservice. This inservice must be renewed annually. All MRI operators are required to be certified for scanner operation by the IRC Imaging Specialist.

MRI users are required to sign both the subject screening form and the scan session form.

There must be minimum of a one to one ratio of safety trained lab members to subjects/patients and anyone who may be accompanying these subjects (i.e. parent, other family member). In the instances where a family member accompanies the subject into the restricted area, one lab member will be assigned the role of Safety Monitor for that person. Only one additional family member will be allowed into the restricted area at a time. This rule is in effect at all times.

Scans being performed outside of regular business hours (Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm, non-holiday) are required to have a minimum of two safety trained lab members present during the scan session.

All personnel must have a working knowledge of, and a willingness to follow, all safety requirements.

MRI Research Safety and Ethics: Points to Consider
Here is a good resource produced by the NIMH in 2005: mri-research-safety-ethics.pdf


If participants have any type of implants (i.e. orthopedic hardware, heart stents, surgery clips, electronic implants, etc.), you cannot proceed with the MRI scan until appropriate documentation has been reviewed and approved by IRC staff. Documentation should include written documents from the manufacturer stating the conditions that must be followed to safely scan the participant. Approval must come from one of the following IRC personnel: Jerry Sonico, Cameron Carter and/or Costin Tanase.

If a participant has had an MRI with an implant, never assume that the participant is safe to scan. You must still have approval before scanning your participant.

When approval of the implant is needed, have the name of the manufacture, name of the implant, model number of the implant, and physician's operative report.

Always allow a minimum of seven days before appointment to confirm the conditions needed to safely scan the participant with an implant.

If unable to acquire written documents confirming the conditions to safely perform an MRI scan, the participant cannot be allowed to participate with the MRI scan.

Violation of this policy are grounds for immediate suspension of the research lab and all scheduled MRI scans will be cancelled until violation has been resolved.

MRI Screening Form

The current MRI screening form is available here.