The European Society of Radiology (ESR) and the European Federation of Neurological Associations last month announced the launch of the Alliance for MRI to stop European Union (EU) legislation from inadvertently preventing the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
In 2004, the EU adopted legislation to protect workers from adverse health effects from short-term exposure to electromagnetic fields, the alliance said. Governments are now trying to implement the legislation by April 2008.
The directive will cause unintended restrictions on the use of MRI, with "a serious effect on healthcare provision and patient welfare." The groups said the directive will make it more difficult for healthcare staff to care for patients who need help during scans and will stop the use of MRI for surgical procedures.
"The directive will make the examination of many patients with life-threatening illnesses such as cancer, brain tumors, stroke or heart attack practically impossible," radiology professor Gabriel Krestin said. He pointed out that the new restrictions could affect up to 8 million MRI examinations performed annually in the EU.
The Alliance for MRI noted that the procedure has been used safely for 25 years, with more than 500 million patients exposed to up to 100 times the occupational exposure limit set by the directive.
( http://www.fdanews.com/ddl/34_15/ )