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Metrasens and Smallfry have developed a metal detection system to improve the safety in MRI scanning suites.

The central magnet in an MRI scanner has such a powerful attraction to ferrous metals that it can hurl a porter’s trolley through a room or rip a device from the body of a patient.

According to a recent US study, incidents occur in about 0.1 per cent of scans.

The Metrasens Ferroguard system can improve patient safety by alerting clinicians to any trace of ferrous metal entering the MRI scanning suite.

A nine-year-old girl has already benefited at Russell’s Hall Hospital, Dudley, where she was taken into an MRI room for a head scan.

The child was screened with the Ferroguard system and a strong ferrous signal was detected.

It was later confirmed by x-ray that the child had two small toy magnets stuck in her nose, which may have ripped through her skin had the MRI scan continued.

The American College of Radiologists is already recommending that all US MRI facilities have a warning system such as Ferroguard in their facilities.

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