Aftercare: Excessive heating/burns

Patient Information Leaflet
Aftercare: Excessive
Derriford Hospital
Derriford Road
Tel: 0845 155 8155
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
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 539385
This leaflet is available in large print and
other formats and languages.
Contact: Imaging Department
Tel: 01752 517779
Date issued: October 2013
For review: October 2015
Ref: A-232/Imaging/CH/Aftercare: excessive heating/burns
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