The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning Monday after a patient was burned by the metal part of a face mask while receiving an MRI, according to Fox News.
The patient was reportedly undergoing an MRI exam of the neck and suffered burns to the face that were “consistent with the shape of the face mask,” the outlet reported.
In general, patients are asked to remove any metal pieces before entering an MRI machine, and health care workers are encouraged to check patients for any items that may pose a threat. However with the rise of masks worn in hospitals due to coronavirus pandemic, the FDA found it necessary to remind people about their use and safety in certain situations.
“Metal parts, like nose pieces, sometimes called nose clips or wires, nanoparticles (ultrafine particles), or antimicrobial coating that may contain metal (such as silver or copper), may become hot and burn the patient during an MRI,” the FDA advisory stated. “The FDA recommends patients wear face masks with no metal during MRIs.”
The FDA asserts that it may be difficult to tell whether a face mask has metal in it. The agency recommends consulting with the person performing the MRI to confirm the face mask is safe to wear.
In the newly released statement, the FDA is urging medial staff to provide the patient with the face mask if wearing one during an MRI is absolutely necessary.
The statement is telling anyone who has been burned by a face mask during an MRI should report the event to the FDA to improve patient safety.