A Boy Died During MRI

Image Source: The Health Site

A 6-year-old boy died during MRI due to an oxygen tank that was mistakenly present in the MRI room.

A 6-year-old boy underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) after surgery. Although the hospital ensured that no metal objects were present within the premises, an oxygen tank mistakenly and unknowingly reached the MRI room. The child died during the MRI when the oxygen tank hit his head. During MRI, the tank flew across the room, at 20 to 30 feet per second and hit the boy’s head, fracturing the skull.

The autopsy confirmed that the death of the child was due to severe intracranial haemorrhaging and contusion secondary to the blunt force trauma to the head.

Edward A. Stolzenberg, president and chief executive of Westchester Medical Center, said:

”The trauma was due to what can only be described as a horrific accident, and the entire Medical Center is grieving over the incident. The hospital assumes full responsibility for the accident.”

Overall, MRI is one of the safest imaging modality. However, even the safest modalities can have rare accidents. Around 52% of the American MRI facilities reported accidents in a year.

MRI uses electromagnetic field to perform images of the body. The magnetic field created by the MRI is 10,000 times more powerful than the earth’s magnetic field. Therefore, if there is any metal object within the magnetic field, it can turn into projectiles.

Although rare, there have been reports of deaths or accidents due to magnetic objects during the MRI. For instance, a hairpin in the hair of a patient during MRI travelled up her nose and lodged in the pharynx.  Another case report where the MRI’s magnetic field pulled a gun out of a police officer’s hand and the gun shot.

Image Source: India Today

Take home message:

It is highly imperative to sweep the room beforehand for any metal objects. Thorough patient history is also indispensable as any ferromagnetic objects on/in the human body can lead to complications. For example, hospital staff and healthcare professionals should carefully remove hairpins, paper clips, bobby pins, pacemaker, metal stent, oxygen tank, etc. from the premises to avoid morbidities and mortalities.

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Dr. Arsia Hanif has been a meritorious Healthcare professional with a proven track record throughout her academic life securing first position in her MCAT examination and then, in 2017, she successfully completed her Bachelors of Medicine and Surgery from Dow University of Health Sciences. She has had the opportunity to apply her theoretical knowledge to the real-life scenarios, as a House Officer (HO) serving at Civil Hospital. Whilst working at the Civil Hospital, she discovered that nothing satisfies her more than helping other humans in need and since then has made a commitment to implement her expertise in the field of medicine to cure the sick and regain the state of health and well-being. Being a Doctor is exactly what you’d think it’s like. She is the colleague at work that everyone wants to know but nobody wants to be. If you want to get something done, you approach her – everyone knows that! She is currently studying with Medical Council of Canada and aspires to be a leading Neurologist someday. Alongside, she has taken up medical writing to exercise her skills of delivering comprehensible version of the otherwise difficult medical literature. Her breaks comprise either of swimming, volunteering services at a Medical Camp or spending time with family.


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