Magnet quench hazard prompts recall of legacy Philips MRI scanner

Philips is voluntarily recalling its Panorama 1-tesla HFO MRI scanner due to risk of a potential magnet quench hazard.

Although there have been no reports of injury or serious harm to date, Philips said it has received one report of system and property damage that occurred during a decommissioning magnet quench procedure. However, Philips guidelines were reportedly not followed during this process, according to the company.

“During a magnetic quench procedure, a large amount of helium evaporates and is vented outside the building through a venting system,” Philips said in a statement. ”If an unknown blockage is present in the venting system and the pressure exceeds design limits, in a potential worst-case event, there is a possibility of a rupture with sufficient force to result in property damage or injury.”

Customers have been instructed by Philips to stop using the scanner and to refrain from initiating a magnet quench procedure until Philips field service engineers have completed a system inspection.

Philips said it’s in the process of scheduling and carrying out system inspections “as expeditiously as possible.” The Panorama scanner was launched in 2005 and there are currently 340 units still in operation globally, including 150 in the U.S. Panorama 1.0T HFO was discontinued in 2014.

The company said that all U.S. customers have been notified and approximately 80% of the systems have been inspected. As for the rest of the world, about 85% of customers have been contacted and approximately 75% of the systems have been inspected. Philips said it would complete the inspections this year.

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