When MRIs Go Wrong

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From malfunctions during an MRI scan to safety measurements that were disregarded. This is what happens when MRIs go wrong.

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Number 5 Rajesh Maru
In 2018, Indian man Rajesh Maru was visiting an elderly relative in Mumbai. According to his family, a staff member asked Maru to carry an oxygen cylinder inside the room with the MRI scanner. The person in question reportedly assured Maru’s family that the machine had been turned off. This, unfortunately, wasn’t the case.
What Is It?
Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI is a medical imaging technique used to observe the physiological processes and anatomy of the human body. The MRI scanner is a large cylindrical machine which creates a strong magnetic field around the body. Although the machine is complex, the way it works is quite simple to grasp. Once a person is inside the narrow tube, the scanner sends pulses of radio waves which knock hydrogen nuclei out of their regular position. In the MRI scanner, instead of spinning randomly, hydrogen atoms line up with the magnetic field. When the magnetic field is turned off, the nuclei return to their normal position and, in doing so, send out radio signals. It’s a highly effective procedure, but one that also comes with several risks, particularly since it involves the use of powerful electromagnets.
Number 4 MRIs
The item remained immovable and the building was locked down. The situation was only resolved after the machine’s manufacturer was contacted for assistance. Fortunately, nobody was hurt. Before we get to our next listing, let’s see what an MRI scanner can actually be used for.
Where Is It Located?
The MRI scanner is among the best diagnostic tools available in medicine today. Since its development in the 1970s and 1980s, it has gradually evolved to include more processes. This noninvasive technique uses high energy beams to remove diseased tissue and the process may be monitored through magnetic resonance.
Number 3 Dan Mahony
79-year-old Dan Mahony was seriously injured in a radiology center in Medford, New York. It was yanked from under Mahony as soon as the elderly man entered the room.
It’s worth mentioning that MRI magnets are at least 1,000 times stronger than refrigerator magnets. If something metal is brought inside the room, it will be drawn to the inside of the scanner, where the patient is sitting. Substances, known as contrast dyes, may be administered through an IV to improve the imaging quality.
Number 2 Michael Colombini
The incident took place in 2001. His kindergarten teacher told a media outlet “You’d think that if you had survived all of that, you’d be sort of home free”. The MRI scan was a way for doctors to monitor the boy’s progress after. As the 10-ton electromagnet was turned on, the tank was pulled towards the tube, at 20 to 30 feet per second.
How to?
From the perspective of medical professionals, safety is a matter of following the proper regulations when operating the MRI machine. These may differ slightly, depending on the country where the machine is used, but the overall safety protocol is usually the same.
Number 1 Incident in Mumbai
In November, 2014, two hospital workers in Mumbai spent roughly four hours sandwiched between a metal oxygen tank and an MRI machine. As they were preparing the machine for a scan, technician Swami Ramaiah asked ward boy, Sunil Jadhav, to bring him an oxygen mask. Jadhav, who’d never worked in an MRI room, misunderstood and brought him a 4-foot oxygen tank instead. As Jadhav approached the machine, he was yanked with such brute force that he didn’t have time to drop the tank. Both he and Ramaiah were pinned against the MRI machine. Therefore, the men were stuck to the scanner for about four hours.

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