A 3-year review of MRI safety incidents within a UK independent sector provider of diagnostic services

BJR Open. 2019 Apr 30;1(1):20180006. doi: 10.1259/bjro.20180006. eCollection 2019.


A review of MRI safety incidents conducted over a 3-year period for a large independent sector diagnostic imaging provider in the UK. The review took a systematic approach using reports logged on an internal incident reporting system that were then categorised and analysed for themes and trends. Notable cases and actions taken are also described from within the period. MRI safety-related events made up 7.5% of the total number of incident reports submitted and 15.5% of all MRI-related reports. The MR safety-related incidence report rate was 0.05% (1 per 1987 patients), which is relatively low considering the number of patients seen in our facilities each day. Internal MRI safety events indicated the main trends to be around referral of contraindicated devices (32% of reports) and failure in the screening process (21.5%-either due to unexpected implants or being unable to confirm safety). To improve practice and work to reduce incidents, advice and instructional materials were developed. The review suggests a potential approach to categorisation of MRI-related safety events which could allow comparisons to be made across organisations, helping to look for trends and guide learning. It also provides insight into the state of MRI safety within the organisation, a rationale for some of the interventions introduced to improve safety, and discussion around common issues arising in MRI safety.