Posts Tagged ‘health and safety legislation’

A corner in the medical imaging’s ECO system

Author and Curator: Dror Nir, PhD

Availability of imaging devices in medical procedures requires more than science. It depends on meeting a complicated set of conditions that is constantly changing. Recently, a threat on the availability of MRI to patients needing diagnosis and treatment of life-threatening diseases was removed.

Quoted from the Alliance for MRI web-site:

The Alliance for MRI welcomes the Commission’s proposal to exempt Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) from the limit values set in Directive 2004/40/EC to protect workers from electromagnetic fields (EMF Directive).

  • This derogation is necessary to ensure the unimpeded use of MRI so that patients have access to the highest standard of care across Europe.
  • The safe use of this technology is highly regulated. Criteria have been set to eliminate any danger to workers and patients.
  • MRI has been used for over 25 years, imaging up to 500 million patients without evidence of harm to workers due to exposure to electromagnetic fields.
  • The Alliance supports the adoption of guidelines to ensure that working practices are in line with the latest technological developments.

On 14 June 2011 the European Commission adopted a proposal to revise the directive on protecting workers from electromagnetic fields. The European Commission’s proposal includes a derogation for the medical and research use of MRI from the exposure limit values, which will ensure that this vital technology will continue to be available for all patients.

This revision is a result of the concerns raised by the Alliance for MRI and a recognition by the European Commission that the current Directive severely curtailed the use of MRI to the detriment of patients in Europe.

End of quote.

About Alliance for MRI

The ‘Alliance for MRI’ is a coalition of European Parliamentarians, patient groups, leading European scientists and the medical community, who together are seeking to avert the serious threat posed by EU health and safety legislation to the clinical and research use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).

Gabriel Krestin, president of the European Society for Radiology said: “Today’s vote is an important step that reverses an earlier detrimental decision. Without this change patients could not have benefited from MRI in the diagnosis and treatment of life-threatening diseases,”

The parliamentary committee’s action corrects problems with the original Directive and endorses an updated proposal by the European Commission on Protecting Workers. By subjecting MRI to overly restrictive limits the original version would have curtailed MRI-guided brain surgery and made MRI difficult to use in situations where close patient contact is required, including imaging of vulnerable patients and children. The exemption is also necessary for research and development and for routine cleaning and maintenance of MRI equipment.

The committee-approved draft will be used as the basis of informal negotiations with Council. If agreement is reached, it will be voted on next year by the full Parliament.

Patient Group Representative Mary Baker (European Brain Council) said: “The derogation for Magnetic Resonance Imaging that was endorsed today will ensure that serious medical conditions such as cancer will be diagnosed and treated to the benefit of patients in Europe. I am calling on all Members of the European Parliament to follow the example of their colleagues and to support the MRI derogation in the plenary vote in early 2013”.

Interested to learn more about the cancer management ECO system? Visit the European Partnership for Action Against Cancer site.

Writen by: Dror Nir, PhD

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