After an incident where a patient who was wearing a mask burned their face during an MRI exam, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a statement urging patients, physicians, and radiologic technologists to ensure no masks with metal parts are being worn inside imaging machines. 

Wearing metal during an MRI exam can cause radio frequency-induced heating, as was the recent case of a patient whose face burned during a scan of their neck. 

It’s easy to overlook small metal pieces in face masks, such as nose clips or wires, headband staples, nanoparticles, or antimicrobial coating that might contain silver or copper. If it’s not possible to determine if a facemask contains metal parts, then it’s better to provide a mask that is confirmed to be metal-free, recommends the FDA. 

The FDA encourages patients and healthcare providers to report any kind of injury during an MRI scan through the MedWatch Voluntary Reporting Form.