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Safe Oxygen Detection for MRI Scan Rooms

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is one of the key technologies used in the Hos[tials . MRI allows medical professionals to collect important information about their patient’s condition without exposing them to radiation.

MRI Scanners use Liquid Helium (He) to cool the superconducting magnet, which is the part of the MRI Scanner that generates high-resolution images of the human body.

Liquid Helium is used due to its extreme low temperatures ( minus 268 degrees centigrade ) which are required for Superconducting magnets to operate. 

However Helium is an inert Gas and as such if it were to leak in to the MRI room it would remove the Oxygen from the Atmosphere and could cause death via asphyxiation.

Oxygen detection is therefore a requirement to protect workers and patients in case of the leak. 

MRI Scanner

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner

Oxygen Detection installed in an MRI does have restrictions.

  1. Due to the powerful magnetic fields generated any sensors placed within the room should not contain any metal parts.
  2. The Gas Sampling / Sensing point should be placed high up in the room, prefereably on the ceiling due to Helium (He) being lighter than air.

This represents some challanges for installers.

One good solution is to use a sample draw monitor such as the Riken Keiki Model GD-70D intelligent sample draw monitor. 

The GD-70D can be mounted outside the MRI and a Teflon sampling hose run into the room to a ceiling location to sample the Oxygen levels in the room.

This arrangement offers two specific advantages:

  1. No metal is present inside the room and there is no requirement for expenisve and cumbersome faraday cages to protect sensors from the magnetic field.
  2. The sensors are contained without the monitor outside the room at ground level making maintenance and calibrations simple and with no need to shutdown the MRI room to gain access at height to ceiling mounted sensors.

The GD-70D is highly reliable and robust with many 100's of thousands installed worldwide, used in many applications including MRI scanner rooms, and give many years of trouble free service.

See GD-70D for more details.

MRI Scanner installation