MRI accidents raise safety concerns

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MRISeveral reports emerged last year concerning issues with MRI safety.

In October 2019, officials at Sunderby Hospital in Luleå confirmed that a hospital staff member and two security guards were injured in an accident at a mobile MRI unit outside the hospital. According to the Swedish press at the time, a specialist nurse got stuck outside the gantry. When his screams and the appearance of a hand inside the scanner alerted the patient that something was wrong, the patient reportedly got out of the machine and tried to help the nurse. With the help of a security officer, the nurse was pulled out of the mobile unit, although he was unconscious at this stage.

At a press conference on 24 October, Aleris, the company that owns the equipment, the MR trailer, and employs the injured person) reported that the nurse had been moved from the intensive care unit to a regular ward. His condition has improved, and he said he was feeling OK under the circumstances, Emma Bergström Wuolo, press officer of the Norrbotten region, noted.

In early November 2019, reports appeared in the Swedish press about a second MRI accident that occurred in Varberg, Sweden, in April. A staff member at the Halland hospital in Varberg, who was accompanying an anxious patient into the MRI scanner room, was wearing a metallic ankle band with steel balls, and their leg got stuck to the scanner, according to a report in Aftonbladet, a Stockholm-based tabloid newspaper.

There were no injuries, but the machine had to be shut down for more than two weeks. The total cost to the hospital was around 1,000,000 Swedish krona (£82,800), Magnus Warfvinge, deputy head of X-ray operations in Halland, told Aftonbladet.

Meanwhile, a court case continues following the death of a man in India in January 2018 following an MRI accident. The man was accompanying his mother-in-law into an MRI suite, and was killed when he was sucked into the magnet bore while carrying an oxygen tank.


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