COVID-19 MRI SAFETY INFORMATION

NYSPI Employees: Please check this page for current information (NYSPI login required) 

The most current version of the ramp up document is available by clicking here. Please check periodically for updates. 

We will keep this page update with the latest information regarding the reactivation of scanning protocols at the NYSPI MRI unit. 

Some additional updates

(These will be corrected/updated in the document in the coming weeks)

Anyway, here are some of the more important points to keep in mind, and some things that may not be as specifically explained in detail in the guide. Apologies for the length, but we feel this is all important information to have. 

  • Masks on at all times! If you or your subject enter the suite without a mask or with an improperly worn mask, you will be asked to leave. Most procedural masks have a metallic nose strip in them that we've found tends to be a little bit magnetic in many brands. During the scan itself (and per the IRB*), the subject may remove their mask for the scan, after being set up on the bed. If they prefer to be scanned mask-on (or if your protocol dictates such) we'll hand them a new, magnet friendly mask. Should they opt for mask-off *, we'll give them one after the scan finishes, unless of course they have their own mask, which they can use at that point. RAs can use whatever mask they have—you may feel a tiny little tug near the bore if you have a surgical mask, but it's nothing substantial and not of any safety concern if you're not going into the actual scanner. If the idea of that makes you feel uncomfortable, you're welcome to have one of ours. 
     

  • We will keep the bore fan on during the entire scan in order to move air through and out of the bore, and this may make the temperature feel a little cooler than normal when scanning. We'll do our best to keep plenty of blankets on hand, but our allocation from environmental services is divided amongst the patient wards as well, so we try to conserve where possible. That being said you may want to ask your participants to wear something with sleeves if they tend to run cold. We will still offer gowns, but the participants will be asked to change in the restroom. The lockers and change room are off limits for now. 
     

  • Please avoid last minute surprise metal, implants, etc., of any kind. We won't have the luxury of last minute approval so please make sure to have this information (and email pre-approval from Alayar if needed) ahead of time. You will still wand the participant like normal, however this will be done in the "ON DECK" area which is indicated with fancy green tape on the floor. The tech will hand you the wand, you'll use it, hand it back, and the tech will clean it.  
     

  • Button boxes: Those will be kept in the magnet room. In order to keep the button boxes functional and free from defect, we currently ask that groups inform the operator on duty of whichever box they need and it will be connected by the operator for the groups. 
     

  • If your participant needs corrective lenses, please know the prescription ahead of time. Glasses will be sanitized after use.
     

  • The Forms page has the online versions of the metal screener and pregnancy screener, which are on REDCap, and also fillable PDFs of the waivers you might need (bear with me, some are still in progress but they should be there by the time you scan). There will be no more signing billing sheets, but Joe will send you a copy of the final billing sheet sometime after the scan. Please send PDFs of all forms to the tech doing the scan. It will either be:

  • We will have a plastic bin for your participants to put anything they might bring with them that they haven't left upstairs as well as any items they may need to remove last minute. We ask that they avoid bringing bags or excessive belongings of any kind. 
     

  • Try to bring minimal things with you other than what's needed. Phones, a book, a laptop, a water bottle, those are all fine, and of course anything you need for the scan itself. Please don't bring bags or food containers. There is a line on both the desk and the floor, once again in that fancy green tape. This is the "social distance line" for the tech. We ask that no one comes any closer to the tech and/or console than this line during the scan. 
     

  • The schedule is going to be pretty to-the-minute time wise. We aren't going to allow groups to run over time more than five minutes or so (and only if really necessary) because we need to use available time to clean/reset everything, let the air circulate out of the magnet room, and prevent any overlap between groups. 
     

For any questions on this policy, please contact the MRI unit via Joe.Figliolia@nyspi.columbia.edu or Matthew.Riddle@nyspi.columbia.edu 

As the MRI Unit continues to operate during the ongoing pandemic, we are doing so with the goal of minimizing the risk to both staff and participants. In order to allow ample time for disinfection and newly-instituted safety protocols and procedures, we must reduce the operating capacity of the scanner and restrict access to the MRI unit. All protocols have been carefully considered and reviewed by Central Administration.

As of November 1st, 2021, the scanner will be operating at 100% capacity, with a 15 minute gap between scheduled scans that will likely remain in place indefinitely. Operating hours are 8am-8pm M-F and 9am-5pm on weekends (depending on need).

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