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Do You Know If MRIs Are Safe For You?


Do You Know If MRIs Are Safe For You?

MRI, or Magnetic Resonance Imaging, is a commonly used diagnostic tool in hospitals and Emergency Rooms. MRIs operate using pulses of radio wave energy and a magnetic field to generate images of internal body structures. While many of these structures can be seen with other tests such as CT scans, x-rays, and ultrasounds, MRIs often provide additional information that other tests cannot offer.

Some people cannot have MRIs, and could suffer great injury or illness as a result of an MRI:

  • People who are allergic to contrast dye must discuss their options before an MRI.
  • Pregnant women typically should not have MRIs unless the benefits outweigh the risks, and again, this is something to discuss with your physician.
  • People with heart stents cannot have MRIs because these and other metal heart and/or blood vessel devices (pacemakers, artificial heart valves, and others) can cause internal injuries with MRIs.
  • People with braces, prosthetic limbs, implanted metal pins, insulin pumps, IUDs, or cosmetic metal implants may not be able to have MRIs. It’s important whenever you have receive such a device or implant to ask your physician whether it would be safe for you to have an MRI in the future.

Contrast dye allergies, metal implants, and heart stents all prevent people from having MRIs (along with various other issues). Because magnetic resonance imaging is used in emergency situations during which you may not be able to advocate for yourself, and because the injuries or illnesses you could incur as a result of an MRI are so severe, it is imperative that emergency room personnel know of any reason why you should not have an MRI so they can make the right decision when seconds count. That’s why we always recommend Lauren’s Hope medical ID jewelry for people who cannot have MRIs.

If you’re not sure if it’s safe for you to have an MRI, please consult your physician or surgeon for advice.


Good information. I have to spinal cord stimulators so I cannot have MRIs. On my Lauren's Hope bracelet, it says "SCS - No MRIs" :)
Posted @ Wednesday, March 27, 2013 11:26 AM by Sarah Mae
While this is good information for the public to know, it is not completely correct. I am an MRI Technologist, have been for 20 + years. Many people have implants such as stents and still can be scanned safely. We must know the make and model number of each stent or other implant. We research each implant, checking the manufacturer's MRI testing guidelines in which the particular implant has been tested. There are different strength magnets in clinical operation, from 0.5 Tesla up to 3.0 Tesla. Most stents can be scanned on MRI machines up to 1.5 Tesla. Each MRI department should ask every patient screening questions before each exam. FDA rules.
Posted @ Thursday, March 28, 2013 9:38 AM by Deanne Kacmar RT(R)(MR)
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