Indian Man Loses His Life After Getting Sucked into MRI Scanner

A man carrying an oxygen cylinder died after being pulled into the MRI machine in a hospital in India.

Mumbai, the financial capital of India witnessed a tragic mishap on Saturday, as a 32-year old man reportedly got sucked into a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner while holding a metallic oxygen cylinder. The accident took the life of Rajesh Maru, who went inside the room to accompany a relative for MRI scan at Nair Hospital.

Preliminary autopsy reports suggest that the man inhaled liquid oxygen from the leaking cylinder, which led to the death. An eyewitness said that as soon as the man entered the room with the cylinder, the machine pulled both the man and the cylinder with great force. The man’s hand got stuck between the machine and cylinder and further efforts to pull him to the safety resulted in a massive oxygen leak. A post-mortem indicated that Maru died due to pneumothorax, a condition caused due to excessive air entering the lung pockets.

Physics

How Dangerous is an MRI Scanner ?

MRI machine used for medical imaging make use of strong magnetic fields to generate images of the body organs. The strong magnetic field is a reason why ferrous metallic objects are not allowed inside the MRI room. Although MRI is a safe procedure for medical diagnosis, severe injuries may occur if safety procedures aren’t followed. The negligence in maintaining strict safety is what led to this tragedy.

The victim’s uncle stated that Rajesh was asked to carry the cylinder by one of the junior staff members and assured him that the machine was switched off. “The ward boy asked him to help. They said it was okay. He went close to the machine and instead got pulled along with the oxygen cylinder inside the machine. Instead of taking responsibility, the hospital workers scolded us for Rajesh having gone close to the MRI machine with the cylinder in his hand,” said Priyanka Solanki who was also present in the MRI room.

Mumbai Police arrested the doctor and other junior staff members over charges of causing death due to negligence. The patient, Laxmibai Solanki who was supposed to undergo MRI scan, however, remains admitted in the same hospital.

This isn’t the first time that the highly regarded as safe procedure took the life of a person. In 2001, a 6-year boy died at the Westchester Medical Center, NY, when an oxygen tank which wasn’t supposed to be in the room, flew through the air and fractured his skull. The tank became magnetized and was pulled towards the machine where an MRI test was supposed to be conducted on a boy who just underwent surgery.

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A similar incident also took place in 2014, when a technician at another hospital in Mumbai remained stuck to MRI machine for four hours when a ward staff walked into the room carrying an oxygen cylinder triggered the magnetic pull. The technician suffered from severe injuries, damaging kidneys and fracturing one shoulder.

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