MR System Operation and Safety Training


To make an appointment to do this, contact Mary Foley.

Those wishing to operate the MR scanners must also complete one of the MR training programs.

MR Suite Safety Rules

Any researcher who uses the research Bays is required to set up and clean up properly. If the area is untidy when you arrive, or if equipment has not been returned to it's proper position or default state, notify Mary Foley by email. If you fail to notify Mary, you could be held responsible.

Set Up and Scanning

  • Only qualified persons may operate the MR scanners.
  • Two members of the research team must be present during scanning. During tech supported hours, the MR techs may be the second person. Off hours each group must have two investigators in the scanner bay.
  • No one (including researchers and assistants) may enter the scanner room without signing a screening form.
  • Subjects must sign the appropriate consent and screening forms before they are imaged.
  • If there are any questions regarding a subject's compatibility with the magnetic field, one of the technical staff must be notified.
  • Anyone entering the scanner room must first "de-metal" (empty pockets; remove jewelry, watches, wallets, beepers, hair clips; leave pens, clipboards etc. outside)
  • Hearing protection (in the form of earplugs or headphones, or both) must be used when scanning all subjects.
  • Double check wires on all equipment you use in the scanning room for loops that can cause serious electrical burns.
  • The scanner bed will not support subjects weighing more than about 350 pounds.
  • Don't use paper clips or other small metal objects (staples, etc.) around scanner. They tend to land on the floor and find their way into the magnet room and into the magnet.

In Case of Emergency

In the event that a subject becomes ill enough to require medical assistance, please follow these instructions:

  • Step1: 1st scanner removes subject from magnet.
  • Step 2: While subject is being removed 2nd scanner calls 911 and alerts MGH Police & Security (red button on wall or by phone 627-726-5400).
  • Step3: Contact other support such as Nursing, Mary Foley R.T or Larry White R.T.

Clean Up

  • Return all equipment to its labeled place on the shelves or in the drawers.
  • Place soiled linens in the laundry hamper in the magnet room.
  • Contaminated materials (excluding sharps) must be placed in the contaminated waste box in the magnet rooms.
  • All sharps are to be placed in the plastic sharps container located in the magnet room and on the wall outside the control room. Sharps are never to be placed in any wastebasket.

Food and Drink

  • No food or drinks are allowed in the magnet lab areas. The ONLY exception is that research subjects may have a drink of water prior to or immediately following an experiment.
  • Do not throw food wrappers of any kind in the wastebaskets.

Proper Footwear and Dress Attire

  • No open toed shoe, sandals or flip-flops are allowed in the scanning or prep areas
  • No short skirts/shorts/shirts allowed. Proper, professional dress is expected in the scanning and prep areas.

Broken Equipment

Report ALL broken equipment and equipment failures immediately to Larry White via email. It is understood that equipment in such constant use will occasionally break. You will not be held responsible, but we cannot fix items unless we know they are broken.

Bite Bar Safety

The bite bar is a custom-made mouthpiece which is attached to the head coil (or other structure on the patient table) to help minimize head movement during scanning. There are several safety concerns associated with the use of a bite bar.

Use a non-brittle dental impression material, like Hydroplastic (TAK Systems, East Wareham, MA). Brittle dental impression material can chip, producing both sharp edges that can cut the tongue, and loose pieces of material that can be a choking hazard.

Use just enough material to cover 2-3 mm of the front teeth. Instruct subjects to remove their teeth from and return their teeth to the bite bar after a few minutes as the material is hardening. Hydroplastic is very solid once it has solidified. If too much material is used, the bite bar may become difficult to remove when solid.

Demonstrate the quick release mechanism to the subject so that they may release the bite bar if necessary.

Use the microwave oven in the Bay 2 console room to make bite bars. NEVER use the (food-only) microwave oven in Bay 1 for this purpose.

Assisting Subjects Onto The Scanner Bed

The scanner bed can be lowered for elderly or sick patients.

The Siemens scanner beds do not detach and thus cannot be brought outside the scanner room. Do not bring wheelchairs into the scanner room. If you will be scanning a wheelchair bound subject, ask Mary Foley for assistance.

The scanner bed will not support patients weighing more than about 350 pounds.

Contact Mary Foley for more information.

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