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
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.
Thank you to the HSJ for recognising the patient impact and cost effectiveness of the service at Barts Heart Centre with an award for ‘Improving the value of diagnostic services’. This reflects the hard work for a growing team that has learned new skills and worked so hard to make this happen.. and for keeping up with the demand.
We all hope the recognition will encourage others to set up new services and raise aware in referrers.
Details at the HSJ awards website.
Peter, who was diagnosed with cancer at Barts but because of his pacemaker – which had been implanted at another hospital – struggled to get an MRI. Thanks to the MRI service, he was able to undergo multiple scans which were needed for his treatment with surgery and radiotherapy. He has kindly agreed to post this (as both a patient and a Barts Charity ambassador) so that we as clinicians drive more service availability across the country.
You can read another news article here.