By Sue Kost, MD
As I’m sure is the same with many of you, I have sedated many children for dressing changes and many children for MRI scans. Occasionally the twain shall meet.
I was feeling pretty proud of myself for catching a silver-impregnated dressing (hidden underneath a Telfa pad) on one of my sedated patients during the final zone 3 screen, which had been missed in the pre-screening. The techs agreed that it was a problem, and we waited for the primary service to come and change the dressing to one without silver. Caused about a 15-minute delay, but saved the unconscious patient from a potential burn, right? Likely wrong.
According to a literature search I did after the fact, silver-impregnated dressings cause minimal temperature change (0.2-1.8
o C) and no appreciable artifact, even in a 3T
1 (and a research 7T)
So if you’re ever in the position to save a patient an unnecessary dressing change, remember my story. Screen carefully, but base your safety decisions on evidence.
- Bailey JK, Sammet S, et al. MRI compatibility of silver based wound dressings. Burns 2018 Dec; 44(8):1940-1946.
- Chaudhry Z, Sammet S, et al. Assessing the safety and compatibility of silver based wound dressings in a magnetic resonance environment. Burns 2009 Dec; 35(8):1080-5.