Magnetic Resonance Imaging has been safely used in diagnosis and treatment for over 25 years, with over 500 million patients exposed to up to 100 times the occupational exposure limit set in Directive 2004/40/EC, without evidence of harm to workers or patients.
The use of MRI has provided immeasurable benefits to patients. It is an essential tool in diagnosing and treating illness and in medical research. MRI scans produce detailed pictures of the inner structure and function of patients’ bodies using magnetic fields and radio waves. It is central to important treatments and research programmes for many illnesses, in particular, cancer, heart disease and neurological problems. If implemented, the Directive would prevent healthcare staff from assisting or caring for patients during imaging. It would mean that some patients who cannot be imaged without this care – if they are young, elderly, frail or confused – would either be denied imaging or have to undergo alternative procedures such as x-rays.
The established MR safety standard IEC/EN 60601-2-33 (as amended and harmonised under the Medical Devices Directive) establishes limit values for time-varying electromagnetic fields which have been set so that any danger to patients and workers is excluded. The MRI Alliance would also like to draw attention to a report prepared on behalf of the Institute of Physics by Dr. Stephen Keevil, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College London. The report deals with important aspects regarding the implications of the EMF Directive for MRI, outlines the actions of the MRI community and prospects for the future.
Next steps: … The preliminary date for the plenary vote, initially set for 5th February 2013, has been postponed and is now likely to take place either in March or April 2013. Following today’s Committee vote, informal discussions will start between the European Parliament, Council and the European Commission. The aim of all institutions remains to agree on a final text in order to reach a First Reading Agreement in 2013.
Member support required Given the potential threat to the hard work undertaken by the Alliance for MRI, we would ask that all members contact MEPs, notably members of the Socialist Group in order to communicate the urgency in adopting the revised Directive. The Alliance for MRI appreciates any help you can give on this final homestretch before an agreement is reached in early 2013.
We need your support to raise awareness of the importance of the MRI Derogation for patients in Europe: Contact your MEPs ahead of the plenary vote slated for March/April 2013
Contact your Ministries of Labour and Social Affairs/ Health and Safety The Alliance for MRI can provide expert witnesses, template letters and information on MRI use in specific disease areas.