Ensuring patients with cardiac devices have the same access to MRI scanning as everyone else.
Our mission is to ensure that patients with cardiac devices have the same access to MRI scanning as everyone else.
“You have the right to receive care and treatment that is appropriate to you”
“You have the right to expect your NHS to assess and to put in place the services to
meet those needs as considered necessary”
– The NHS Constitution
One of the regular comments from new services (radiology and cardiology ) is the difficulty in accessing resources- manufacture guidelines are across different sites and even vary between countries. New services also find it difficult to set up a standard operating procedure.
We hope to make this easier by centralising resources and experience.
Links direct to manufacturer compatibility checks can be found here.
Guidelines can be found here.
Standard Operating Procedures for established services can be found here. Thanks to all centres for contributing to this.
Today the Royal College of Radiology and the British Cardiovascular Society are publishing a joint letter updating members on providing MRI for patients with cardiac devices.
They agree that this is now possible and should be standard- these patients should no longer be disadvantaged by missing out on MRI diagnoses of cancer and strokes.
Thank you to everyone for getting this done- experience of local champions, industry work, professional bodies and patient ambassadors have all informed this.
There are still barriers for individual services but hopefully high level collaboration will help (particularly for funding and cardiology/radiology partnership). Referrer and patient awareness also needs to improve, so please publicize this letter.
Practical guides to check devices, service level SOPs, guidance, patient and referrer information (print versions coming soon) are all available and regularly updated on the website.
At the time of implant, your team should tell you if you can have an MRI scan, based on your pacemaker design. Some pacemakers are easy to scan – they have been built for MRI. If this is the case, your device is “MRI conditional”. Older pacemaker or cardiac defibrillators may not have tested in an MRI environment (“legacy” devices), but they can still be scanned in the majority of cases with careful procedures, if the scan is necessary.
Doctors need to know what sort of device you have in order to plan your scan. There are a few simple ways to find out if your device can undergo MRI.
One key way is through the pacemaker registration card. The British Heart Rhythm Society recognised this needs to say if your device is MRI-conditional, and in January 2018 stated that all patients who receive a pacemaker or cardiac defibrillator should have it mentioned on their registration card. An example of the card and the symbol are below.
This is important. Patients and doctors can be unaware what model and make the device and leads are, and this makes it difficult to find out whether MRI can be performed safely. By putting this information on the registration card, patients can show doctors whether this is possible, making decision making easier and meaning patients are not denied MRI scans unnecessarily.
We are excited to run the next study day for clinicians who want to provide MRI for patients with pacemakers or cardiac defibrillators. We have to keep numbers low because of the live scanning exposure, so if you cannot make this course, we will hold the next in December. We look forward to seeing you there!
Date: 10 September 2018
Location: Barts Heart Centre, West Smithfield, London, EC1A7BE.
More details and bookings here.