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Transdermal patches and burns

Medicines (Reducing harm)
26 September 2019

A near miss case has been reported to the Institute of Safe Medication Practices in the United States. 

In this case, a nurse recognised that a patient was wearing a metal containing transdermal patch just before having a MRI scan. Metal containing transdermal patches can cause burns if left on a patient during a MRI scan.

This risk was highlighted in the Commission’s transdermal patch medication alert published in 2013. The list of transdermal patches available in New Zealand has been updated (June 2017) and includes information on whether the patches contain metal or not.

Please review your organisation’s MRI procedures and patient information leaflets to ensure they contain a reference about wearing transdermal patches and what should be done to prevent the risk of burns.

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