Display Patient Information Leafelts

MRI excessive heating burns

Date issued: December 2019

For review: December 2021

Ref: A-232/Imaging/CH/Aftercare: excessive heating/burns v2

PDF:  MRI excessive heating burns [pdf] 179KB


What has happened?

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is considered to be a relatively safe imaging examination. During the scan we use radiofrequency pulses to help produce the images.

These pulses may cause specific implanted devices to heat up. Very rarely, these pulses can cause you to heat up excessively, especially if you are touching the sides of the scanner, have crossed your ankles or linked your hands or are in direct contact with other pieces of our imaging equipment (such as the cables/wires).


Can we prevent it?

We do our utmost to minimise the chances of this happening. This is partly why you have answered a detailed questionnaire before your scan to identify any implants you might have inside you. We are also careful when we position you within the scanner to ensure that you are not in direct contact with cables/wires and are not linking your hands together or crossing your ankles.

We cannot always avoid you touching the sides of the scanner though, as this does depend to a much greater extent on your build.

We hope that, by giving you a call bell and asking you to press it if you start to feel warm, that we can act before any excessive heating occurs (for example by slowing down the scan), but sometimes the effects of the heating don’t become apparent during the time of the scan.


So what happens next?

We will record the fact that you have experienced this, and we actively monitor all such incidents so that we can be sure all our equipment is working as it should and that appropriate preventative measures are being taken by the radiographic staff.


What do I do?

We generally recommend that you see your GP so that they can ensure you are given appropriate care.

However, if you feel that the effects are very minimal and you are not experiencing discomfort, you may not feel the need to do this.

If you require any further information, or would like to discuss this further, please contact the MRI Department on:

01752 432511 Monday – Friday 09:30 – 16:00

Or 01752 439385 Saturday – Sunday 10:00 – 16:00

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