To circumvent the COVID-19 safety obstacles presented with MRI scans, a group of Australian researchers has developed a low-cost MRI bore cleaning tool to reduce any risk of spreading the virus through machine contact.
The risk of viral contamination and infection increases the longer a patient remains in the scanner, and research MRI scans can take a long time to complete — sometimes up to an hour. Paris Lyons, an academic and magnetoencephalography technician at Swinburne University, spearheaded the design for a device that would effectively clean the bore of imaging scanners. She purchased a blue flat mop, which was the only one she could find that had metal-free fabric and replaced its metal handle with a wooden rod. She drilled a hole in the rod to be able to connect it to the mop head. She attached baby wipes to the mop head and affixed plastic bumpers to the center of the mop so that they could reach all curved surfaces. The final step was sanding the rod and sealing it with varnish so it was nonporous. The total cost of the contraption was $46 Australian dollars, or approximately $33.50 USD.
In addition to using the mop, physicians and radiology technicians will continue practicing safety protocols such as adequate physical distancing and using facial protection.