There is more to the maintenance of imaging machines than making sure you have top-quality CT or MRI parts. You must also ensure that they’re working well; checking an MRI’s “vital signs” helps you keep your machine online and functioning for longer. Here are things you should know when maintaining an MRI scanner.
Ensure you have a cool system
Inefficiencies in cold head functionality cause the magnet pressure to go up, which results in helium loss and probable image artifacts. Check the magnet refrigeration or MREF and monitor its static and dynamic pressure. Always clean your water filters and strainers; clogged ones could lead to sporadic chilling, which might make your machine overheat.
Magnet health affects helium levels. Magnet helium is expensive because there is an increasing global supply shortage. Keep unexpected fills to a minimum by ensuring no magnet helium loss.
Schedule helium fills immediately
If you do get alerts from your MRI about its helium levels, there could be one of two causes. Either no one on-site has been monitoring it, or the cooling system is seriously malfunctioning and needs to burn off helium faster than usual.
Ideally, you should plan a refill if your helium levels are at around 60 percent. If it is at levels between 40 to 50 percent, you need to have a specific date for the refill within the next week. Machines that have helium levels below 40 percent need immediate refilling!
Prevent getting caught by surprise by having a service provider install a diagnostic unit on your scanner. This device lets you monitor helium levels and other aspects of your system that might need repair. Also, you must delegate someone to monitor the helium levels at least once a week.
Check MRI breakers frequently
Reports of glitches, system shut-downs, and issues with booting up increase after a service area experiences storms and other extreme weather disturbances. When your scanner is “down,” the problem might not be with the CT or MRI parts; it could be because of the weather.
You can remedy this by resetting the breakers in the part of your facility with your MRI scanners. This might require you to reset your system altogether, but you will be sure that your scanner will be up and running in no time.
Set periodic MRI coil repairs and inspections
When you have lines, graininess, and other image artifacts on your images, there might be issues with the coils you are using. The good news is, it’s relatively easy to repair MRI coils, and turnaround time is quick. Some services offer loaner coils, which would prevent downtime while your coils are out for repairs.
When you inspect your coils regularly, you can plan for repairs. Ask your service provider if they can send someone to perform preventative maintenance measures, especially during periods of low patient activity.
You can extend the life of your MRI machine if you know how to schedule it for maintenance and repairs. Don’t wait until the last minute to check for things like helium levels and coil efficiency; use devices and services that allow you to monitor these.
For top-quality MRI parts and maintenance, get in touch with Direct Med today. Our product catalog has hundreds of MRI parts and services ready to ship anywhere in the U.S.! Get in touch with us today for more information.