BSA test new pacemaker technology with MRI scans - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

BSA test new pacemaker technology with MRI scans

Amarillo, TX - Amarillo is the only medical community in Texas to test the newest pacemaker technology to see if it's MRI safe.

Over 200 patients are being evaluated nationwide and 7 of those are here in Amarillo.

We are 1 of 30 centers in the United States to conduct these trials.  

An Amarillo medical team has recently started testing the safety and effectiveness of the new pacemaker technology against the forces of MRI's.

Last week, two patients with pacemakers were put to the test and scanned through the MRI machine.

"My career has spent 24 years at this facility in mri and there has never been an mri patient in one of our magnets until last week." says Dr. Phil Glick, MRI safety officer of BSA.

Here's an example of how strong the magnetic pull is on the MRI machine.

Dr. Glick gave me a string with a heavy piece of metal at the end of it and the pull of the magnetic force coming from the machine was strong.

50,000 times stronger than the earth's magnetic field.  

"A lot of people are under the impression that because we are using such powerful magnets, that the magnet would simply rip the generator out of the chest, and that's not the concern" says Dr. Glick

In the past, radioactive waves from the pacemaker made MRI's a problem.

Now the new device, already FDA approved, it makes the process a lot safer.

"MRI's is an non invasive study,it's an easy study, you have to you know, not any pain associated with it, the alternative is a Milo gram where you inject contrast to the spinal column, very painful and it causes a lot of headache and potential side effects." says Dr. Lane Cox, Cardiologist at Cardiology Center of Amarillo.

MRI scans last about an hour-- which is the same as it would be for a patient without a pacemaker.

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