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This graphic, provided by the FDA, warns mask wearers of possible metal parts of their masks. Source: FDA
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns against wearing face masks with metal parts during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) after a patient’s face is burned.
The agency issued a safety communication on Tuesday alerting patients and healthcare providers to potential dangers.
“The FDA recently received a report showing that a patient’s face was burned from the metal in a face mask worn during an MRI,” the agency said in the warning.
The injury occurred during a scan of the neck.
“The report describes burns on the patient’s face that match the shape of the face mask,” said the FDA.
Some face masks, such as surgical or non-surgical masks and respirators, contain metal parts and coatings. Metal parts can contain nasal parts, also called nasal clips or wires, nanoparticles or antimicrobial coatings that can contain silver or copper.
The metals can heat up during an MRI and burn the patient.
“Burns from metal objects worn by a patient during an MRI scan are a known problem and patients should not wear metal during an MRI scan,” the agency said. In light of the coronavirus pandemic, the FDA is urging patients to wear masks during an MRI mask.
The FDA urges health care workers to ensure that patients wear masks that do not contain metal components during MRIs.
Magnetic resonance imaging uses strong magnets and radio waves to take internal images of the body. MRIs help health care providers diagnose an injury or illness and monitor medical treatment, the FDA said.