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National Council on Aging Releases Survey on Medical Imaging Safety
Date:2/17/2010

ultants, P.C. "However, patients with pacemakers who might have an MRI should understand the potential risks.  For many patients where MRI would be the right choice, that choice is complicated by the presence of their pacemaker."

After the age of 65, a person's chance of needing medical imaging doubles, and between 50 and 75 percent of patients with electronic implantable devices will likely need medical imaging over their device's lifetime.

Confusion Exists Over Risks

The survey, made possible by a grant from Medtronic, found that nearly a third of patients and more than half of caregivers did not recall being informed that they or the person they care for might not be eligible for some forms of medical imaging at the time the device was implanted. The survey also found that three in 10 electronic implantable device patients have had an MRI despite the risks, and of this group nearly 20 percent reported experiencing problems with their device afterwards.

Physicians Agree More Education is Needed

In addition, the survey evaluated health care provider perceptions and use of guidelines from the American College of Cardiology (ACC), the American College of Radiology (ACR) and American Heart Association (AHA) for MRI use in patients with electronic implantable devices.  The physicians reported using clinical guidelines often, referring to the ACC, ACR and AHA guidelines in near equal numbers for medical imaging.  Nearly all health care providers surveyed (98 percent) support more education on medical imaging and electronic implantable devices to help ensure awareness of critical guidelines, including that electronic implantable devices should not be regarded as safe for medical imaging simply because they are labeled as modern or recently manufactured.

This survey has prompted NCOA to host a series of community events across the country.  At the events, exper
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SOURCE National Council on Aging
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