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Old 02.02.2021, 19:56
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Advice on Covid Safe CT/PET, MRI Facility ??

Hello all,

Does anyone know of a facility in Zurich, Basel, or anywhere in CH where you think they are doing a good job of providing Covid safety measures for patients while having a CT/PET or MRI scan??

I will need to have a full body, long version and am not looking forward to laying in a small enclosed tube for 30 minutes directly after a long string of other people (many of which may be immune-compromised) have had lay in the same small enclosed space just before me earlier on that same day. I'm also not keen on laying for an hour in their tiny, no-ventilation prep rooms, used one person after another.

I will start calling around, however, I'm curious if anyone knows of the types of measures they have put in place.

For example, are they:
Adding additional air filtration to cycle through the air faster in the scan rooms ??
Taking additional measures to blow air / air out the tubes after each use ??
Cleaning the air in the small prep holding rooms ??
Spacing appointments out, further than usual ??
Spacing out use of the small prep rooms, further than usual ??
Giving patients n95s or ffp3 masks?

Anyone have any experiences and know what types of measure they have taken?

If anyone has any recommendations, please let me know.

Thanks for any thoughts,

MakeABigWish
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Old 02.02.2021, 20:39
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Re: Advice on Covid Safe CT/PET, MRI Facility ??

I was told not to wear a face mask while having an MRI as they often contain metal parts.

To be honest, having my head fixed, a mask would have raised my stress level even more
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Old 02.02.2021, 20:43
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Re: Advice on Covid Safe CT/PET, MRI Facility ??

Iím pretty sure all medical facilities are all doing everything they can to make things Covid safe! I had an MRI in the first wave, didnít have to wear a mask... definitely wouldnít have wanted to!
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Old 02.02.2021, 21:06
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Re: Advice on Covid Safe CT/PET, MRI Facility ??

I had a PET-CT scan 10 days ago (not anywhere near ZŁrich) and I was assured that the Prep rooms and theatre were thoroughly cleaned. All the staff were masked at all times and wear gloves as well.

The last thing these clinics want is to identified as a cluster.

Donít overthink it, the scan itself is stressful enough. Lying still for 45 minutes without moving is difficult but people do it every day.
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Old 02.02.2021, 22:23
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Re: Advice on Covid Safe CT/PET, MRI Facility ??

Thanks everyone for your thoughts.

My concern is the air in small confined spaces from previous patients.

It's pretty clear now that it is air rather than surfaces that is the greatest cause for concern with transferring covid.

Covid particles linger in the air for several hours and now with the new variants it takes even fewer particles that you can get with less time exposure.

I'm not concerned about brief encounters with masked staff.

In a scan center, these small enclosed spaces that sick people are laying in for a long time, one person after another, with no ventilation or air change filtration is my concern.

Good, tight fitting, patient (truly) filter masks (with no metal) would help but still does not stop particles when laying in a tube for a long time, such as 30-45minutes, or a tiny fully enclosed prep room for an hour.

Obviously these rooms have no windows. What they need is some kind of air circulation / filtration system which changes the air 4-5 times in a hour, similar to what they do in operating rooms or with portable air filters.

I'm also not keen about long waits in small, unventilated waiting rooms, whether it be with masks or no masks.

I don't find, on it's own, the experience of having an MRI very stressful.

If you talk to Swiss medical staff, they will assert to you and like to tell themselves that they are super safe. However, I have had direct experience with a range of medical services in the last year in different parts of Switzerland and a good knowledge of the measures taken in medical facilities in other countries, and Switzerland is comparably quite lax and inconsistent.

Any further thoughts or experiences would be welcome,

MakeABigWish
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Old 02.02.2021, 23:06
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Re: Advice on Covid Safe CT/PET, MRI Facility ??

If you're that worried, now is probably not the time to go for an MRI. There's just no way you're going to feel safe no matter what they tell you. The hospital can take every precaution but they can't guarantee 100% you won't catch Covid or any other bug that's going around.

What makes you say there is no ventilation or air filtration whatsoever? Have you contacted any hospitals and asked about their procedures? Have you expressed your concerns to your doctor that has prescribed the MRI? Your doctor may be familiar with different facilities and how they operate.

I had an MRI in Bern a few months back. The waiting room was not a closed off, confined space. I was the only one there because they were spacing out appointments to avoid having people sit together. The prep area was a rather large room, and the only two people in there were me and the tech. There was plenty of ventilation in the MRI room itself. It was downright breezy in that flimsy gown! Also the MRI room itself was not tiny.

It was clear they had sanitized everything before I went in the machine. Could someone have been breathing in there before me? I guess, but I didn't see another patient at all the entire time. Did I feel the hospital had done as much as it could have? Yes.

Not everyone who goes in for an MRI is a "sick person". Some of us need routine scans.
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Old 03.02.2021, 00:18
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Re: Advice on Covid Safe CT/PET, MRI Facility ??

Try phoning them and explaining your concerns and since this isn’t an emergency request an appointment on the earliest day that they cando you first thing in the morning, if possible. These things aren’t done at night and after 12 hours the chance of the virus still hanging in the air is practically nil. Then just disinfect your hands well after leaving. The surgical masks really do provide excellent protection when everyone wears them correctly for all the other parts of the hospital visit.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 03.02.2021 at 20:11. Reason: removed what looked like personal info in the middle of a sentence
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Old 03.02.2021, 00:58
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Re: Advice on Covid Safe CT/PET, MRI Facility ??

In Unispital Basel they give you an N95 mask with the metal strip removed for the MRI. Can't comment for CT. Just like in other places, I had no problem wearing the mask during the procedure. I think you also need an n95 mask just to enter the hospital. Not sure what other precautions they take. Surely nothing more than a quick wipe, if that. All the patients there should have disinfected their hands and would be wearing a mask.
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Old 03.02.2021, 08:31
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Re: Advice on Covid Safe CT/PET, MRI Facility ??

They took my mask off in the tunnel. But I was confident that hospitals clean in between patients, there is a strict protocol they have to follow. While I understand OP's worries, doctors really worry about patients pushing their exams for later and it is not good. OP - call them ahead and share your worries with them, they will tell you how they clean and disinfect. Good luck and let us know how it went!
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Old 03.02.2021, 09:01
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Re: Advice on Covid Safe CT/PET, MRI Facility ??

The scanners are big boxes of electronics which consume vast amounts of electricity in order to do their jobs. They absolutely need to be cooled and this is accomplished by blowing cooled air (from an air conditioner) over the circuitry.

High quality HEPA filters are used to filter the air. These filters remove particles as fine as viruses.

You are likely more at risk at the reception.
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Old 03.02.2021, 16:03
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Re: Advice on Covid Safe CT/PET, MRI Facility ??

Big thanks everyone for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

I should further clarify ... The challenge is airborne "viral load".

Air is much more important than disinfecting surfaces and the amount of virus that has built up in the air / that you breathe in can be a big determinate of how sick one gets.

My main concern is spending a long time breathing in a higher viral load since I will be lying in a tube of less circulated air for 30/45 minutes after a string of other people have also been lying in the same less circulated tube for 30/45 minutes.

Also, in my past, the scan was preceded by lying in small, enclosed prep cabin for an additional hour (I believe due to working with contrast medium) after a string of people had also done the same.

Unless each patient wore a truly very well fitted, true medical grade mask like emergency room personnel, that much time of a succession of people in a less circulated area could still result in a reasonable degree of viral load.

I am less concerned about whether every inch has been continually disinfected, everyone has continually sanitized hands, whether I am exposed to a small amount in passing, what is happening in reception where I have a little more choice of how to distance, etc.

As I said in my op, it's obvious I need to call around and ask questions, and yes, I was planning on hunting around for the first / an early appointment. I just thought I'd talk around the subject with EFers first.

I thought perhaps I might get lucky and someone had knowledge / experiences of how they have taken new additional measures to recycle air in the tubes and prep cabins or perhaps someone had a location they could recommend where they were impressed with what they communicated about the new additional measures they have taken.

I'm not expecting a perfect scenario. I'd just like to try to choose a place that communicates how they have genuinely tried their best to rise to the occasion with air filtration / ventilation in repeated use small spaces .... if such a place exists.

Thanks again for your support,

MakeABigWish
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Old 03.02.2021, 16:17
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Re: Advice on Covid Safe CT/PET, MRI Facility ??

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My main concern is spending a long time breathing in a higher viral load since I will be lying in a tube of less circulated air for 30/45 minutes
As mentioned above, the rooms where the large MRI/PET-CT machines are installed have to be mechanically air-conditioned/ventilated for the correct operation/cooling of the machine, and the air into the room has to be filtered - at least that's the case for most modern outfits. I don't think you run a risk from being in the MRI machine room for 1 hour, at least not higher than just being on the street.
Quote:
Also, in my past, the scan was preceded by lying in small, enclosed prep cabin for an additional hour (I believe due to working with contrast medium) after a string of people had also done the same.
That may potentially be an issue for the over-cautious, as some of the prep rooms are sometimes quite small. This is something you can discuss with the reception. But the simple solution is just to aerate the room for 4-5 minutes before you get into it, which should be sufficient to reduce the risk to near 0. Realize that the center may have incorporated that into operation procedures for COVID anyway.

Last, you are talking here about very, very, very, very small risks of getting a COVID infection in these situations. The health risks to yourself of not doing a scan and not continuing your care probably outweigh these by a number of levels of magnitude, think about that...
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Old 03.02.2021, 18:22
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Re: Advice on Covid Safe CT/PET, MRI Facility ??

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you are talking here about very, very, very, very small risks of getting a COVID infection in these situations.

I don't quite get why the risks are as small as you say.

People who went into medical facilities for one problem and came out with Covid is very well documented across Europe.

People going into small spaces where a series of other people were previous and contracting covid is well documented.

Facilities in the US and UK such as schools, businesses, govt facilities etc are all making a point to replace old filters, install or upgrade to a higher level of filters, buy/use portable filters, put box fans in windows, etc.

The more contagious variants from the UK (and possibly South Africa) have surely made it and will be making it's way more soon into CH.

So not trying to be alarmist, and it's not the same as spending a few hours in a night club, but it does seem prudent to think "hmmm, at this particular moment, shouldn't I give a thought about how to approach hanging out in a small enclosed area for 45 minutes where other people have been just doing the same?"
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Old 03.02.2021, 20:16
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Re: Advice on Covid Safe CT/PET, MRI Facility ??

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I don't quite get why the risks are as small as you say.

People who went into medical facilities for one problem and came out with Covid is very well documented across Europe.

People going into small spaces where a series of other people were previous and contracting covid is well documented.

Facilities in the US and UK such as schools, businesses, govt facilities etc are all making a point to replace old filters, install or upgrade to a higher level of filters, buy/use portable filters, put box fans in windows, etc.

The more contagious variants from the UK (and possibly South Africa) have surely made it and will be making it's way more soon into CH.

So not trying to be alarmist, and it's not the same as spending a few hours in a night club, but it does seem prudent to think "hmmm, at this particular moment, shouldn't I give a thought about how to approach hanging out in a small enclosed area for 45 minutes where other people have been just doing the same?"
I donít get why you are not reading the posts of people that have responded to your questions.
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Old 04.02.2021, 17:46
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Re: Advice on Covid Safe CT/PET, MRI Facility ??

"I donít get why you are not reading the posts of people that have responded to your questions."


This reply doesn't feel very nice.


I have been continually thanking people all along the way, with the thanks buttons and expressing my continued thanks in my reply posts.


I was just try to show where I was coming from.



I wish your reply showed more compassion for someone just trying to think around options for navigating a big immuno-compromised health surprise smack in the middle of avoiding a very contagious and personally dangerous virus.
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Old 04.02.2021, 17:56
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Re: Advice on Covid Safe CT/PET, MRI Facility ??

I had 45min MRI done recently in ZH. I saw the nurse cleaning the machine with a spray after the previous patient had left the room. How thorough the cleaning was is anybody's guess.

I was wearing a surgical mask. It won't be a 100% no risk affair but then what is? Going shopping you could catch it too, assuming you haven't already without even knowing.

What age group are you in? Can the MRI wait? Maybe get the vaccine first if you can wait?
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Old 04.02.2021, 18:16
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Re: Advice on Covid Safe CT/PET, MRI Facility ??

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I had 45min MRI done recently in ZH. I saw the nurse cleaning the machine with a spray after the previous patient had left the room. How thorough the cleaning was is anybody's guess.

I was wearing a surgical mask. It won't be a 100% no risk affair but then what is? Going shopping you could catch it too, assuming you haven't already without even knowing.

What age group are you in? Can the MRI wait? Maybe get the vaccine first if you can wait?



Thanks for your thoughts and sharing your experience.

Yes, trying to think through these options but it can't wait.

Because of my situation, we've had to be super strict, ordering groceries at home, not going out, etc.

I guess my main question is: If anyone knows of a facility where they felt impressed with their covid measures, or even where they have upgraded their air filtration as they have done in other public facilities in response to covid, please let me know or pm me.

Thanks again for all your thoughts. I do sincerely listen. I just like to talk around a challenging topic and gather thoughts before launching my approach.
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Old 04.02.2021, 18:55
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Re: Advice on Covid Safe CT/PET, MRI Facility ??

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I guess my main question is: If anyone knows of a facility where they felt impressed with their covid measures, or even where they have upgraded their air filtration as they have done in other public facilities in response to covid, please let me know or pm me.
If you are in a particularly at risk population, you should discuss your situation with the doctor who referred you for the said scan, and choose with her/him an appropriate facility. You can also discuss this with the facility organizers themselves, as radiologists are well used to perform scans for people with particular needs.

For instance, they can arrange transport to and around the facility in an isolation chamber and or schedule you in at a time where there are no other patients around, etc.

If you are serious about this, talk to the professionals - don't base your decisions on some random comment on a forum
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Old 04.02.2021, 19:30
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Re: Advice on Covid Safe CT/PET, MRI Facility ??

This is not a personal recommendation, rather just info:

This group of imaging clinics at least puts COVID information on their website, and invites you to call them to discuss further if you have questions. So I might guess that they understand that patients have concerns. Perhaps a starting point for you?

There are a couple of locations in ZH:
https://www.rimed.ch/de/covid-19.html
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Old 04.02.2021, 21:50
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Re: Advice on Covid Safe CT/PET, MRI Facility ??

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This is not a personal recommendation, rather just info:

This group of imaging clinics at least puts COVID information on their website, and invites you to call them to discuss further if you have questions. So I might guess that they understand that patients have concerns. Perhaps a starting point for you?

There are a couple of locations in ZH:
https://www.rimed.ch/de/covid-19.html



Thanks again everyone for your thoughts.


This is very useful and helpful.
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