Procedure - Scanning in times of Covid-19


This document is part of strategy to conduct research during the Covid-19 pandemic. This document describes the scanning procedurs. For more information, go to the GIfMI website ( or contact (GIfMI Director), (GIfMI Site Manager) or (GIfMI Research Assistant).

We have developed local guidelines, tailored to safe scanning practices. The following list is non-exhaustive, additions or changes can be communicated at any time.

Strict compliance with all GIfMI covid-19 procedures
The researcher must prepare by watching the instruction videos on the GIfMI website and by practicing at home before the first visit. GIfMI has prepared a checklist (see CHECKLIST in this document) which must be used for each scanning session to make sure you comply with all guidelines. Short: 

    • Mouth mask non-stop for everyone.
    • Hand hygiene with water and soap upon arrival and departure, disinfection with alcogel in between. Gloves are not allowed.
    • Pre-scan disinfection procedure before each scanning session.
    • Post-scan disinfection procedure after each scanning session.

Information - It is essential for potential participants to make a fully informed decision about their participation to scientific research during the Covid-19 pandemic. Especially the knowledge that they will have to wear a mask non-stop also during the MRI scan could be decisive. Therefor: send the document GIfMI Informatiebrief participant to the participant.

Planning and reception
Arrival - It is important that visits of different researchers and participants don’t overlap. Therefor: respect the time schedule, arrive not more than 15 minutes before the starting time of your booking (time 0, T0). T0 is the time at which you can start to perform the pre-scan disinfection procedure. If the researchers working before you are still in the building, then don’t enter. Inform the participant to arrive on T0 +15 minutes. 

Access - Access to the MRI building for scientific purposes is restricted to entry number 55 (as usual). The entry/exit door towards the clinical hallway is not to be used and neither is the container. Therefor: send the document GIFMI campus UZ Gent scannerlocatie to the participant. 

On-site Preparation
Masks (procedure) - We ask both participants and researchers to wear their own fabric or surgical mask upon arrival at the MRI facility and to wear it non-stop until departure. So EVERYONE inside the GIfMI building (both researchers and participants) is NON-STOP wearing  a mouth mask starting before entering the building until leaving the building.
Check the MRI safety of the participant’s mask. If it contains a metal strip, switch to a disposable metal-free mask provided by GIfMI.
The participant will wear the mask non-stop, indeed also in the scanner during the MRI scan to prevent contamination of the equipment and the air in the scanner room – this is essential to everyone’s safety. To keep the mask in place during the MRI scan and with permission of the participant, you can temporarily stick the mask to the nose bridge by applying a piece of Micropore ™ tape.

Clothing - We ask the participant to arrive in MRI compatible warm clothing so that there is no need to use bath robes or blankets and there is no need for a clothing change. Jackets and backpacks can be stored safe in the designated storage boxes in the preparation room for the duration of the examination. Always check clothes and pockets for MRI compatibility.

Hand hygiene (procedure washing and procedure disinfecting) - Literally the first thing to do for both researchers and participants when entering the MRI building - this means: before touching anything at all - is to wash hands with water and soap, followed by disinfection with alcogel. Supervise the performance of the participant as this is not easy at all but extremely important. Reminders of how to perform these procedures will be available on site. Wearing gloves is not allowed as a protective material.

Pens and paper - It is important not to exchange pens and papers. Documents must be fulfilled by the participant at home not more than a week before the date of the examination and must be brought to the facility by the participant. Therefor: send the ICF and MRI safety checklist to the participant with the request to sign it and take it to the scanning session. If the participant doesn’t have a printer, you can send a paper copy by mail.
On site the documents will be reviewed orally by the researcher and will then - with the pen - be dropped by the participant into an envelope for later filing (interval of at least 72 hours). There is no need for the researcher to touch these documents, signing by the researcher can be postponed.

    • Bring with you
        • Covid-19 scanning checklist
        • A copy of the ICF (just in case the participant forgot to bring it)
        • A copy of the Pre-MRI Safety checklist (just in case the participant forgot to bring it)
        • A copy of the Post-MRI Safety checklist
        • Spare (secondary) mouth masks for yourself and the participants (available at GIfMI)
        • Envelope for receiving documents
        • Envelope for any reuse of masks (procedure)
        • Pens for yourself and the participants (no pens will be available on site)
        • Envelopes or zipbags to safely take pens of the participants with you (don’t leave any pens on site)


    • The consumption of food is not allowed in the building.
    • Social rooms (e.g. kitchen) are not accessible.
    • Two researchers must be present, both MRI safety trained. Apart from the requirement in the perspective of MRI Safety, this is also part of the ‘no isolated work’-policy from the H&S office.
    • The pool of researchers involved in the study and who perform the scans is kept as small as possible.
    • Master students are not allowed as collaborators.
    • Aerosol-generating procedures are not allowed.
GIfMI has prepared a checklist which must be used for each scanning session. This checklist describes all steps necessary to perform a scan safely and make sure you comply to all guidelines. This checklist has been approved by the Health & Safety office of Ghent University.
The checklist can be downloaded below.