You often hear of people having fears and phobias of the dreaded MRI machine, however, you don’t typically hear of the machine actually taking someone’s life. Sadly, a 32-year-old man died Saturday in Mumbai, India, after a freak accident occurred inside an MRI room.
Authorities say that Rajesh Maru died after he was sucked into an MRI machine at the BYL Nair Charitable Hospital, the result of an accident that could have been avoided.
Maru reportedly carried an oxygen cylinder into the MRI room at the hospital while the scanner was still turned on.
Since the machine creates an intense magnetic field, Maru was sucked into the machine, causing the oxygen tank to burst and release a deadly concentration of liquid oxygen that Maru fatally inhaled, according to The Guardian.
As noted by RadiologyInfo.org, the powerful magnetic field of an MRI machine “will attract iron-containing (also known as ferromagnetic) objects and may cause them to move suddenly and with great force … Great care is taken to be certain that external objects such as ferromagnetic screwdrivers and oxygen tanks are not brought into the MR system area.”
Because of the magnetic potential of ferrous metals, they “are forbidden in MRI rooms,” according to CBS News.
The dean of the hospital, Ramesh Bharmal, stated that CCTV footage was handed over to authorities and an investigation has been launched to determine the precise cause of death.
He also stated that Philips company, the manufacturers of the machine, will make a visit to the hospital Tuesday.
Jitendra Maru, the victim’s uncle, claimed that a junior staff member from the hospital asked the 32-year-old to carry the oxygen tank, assuring him that the MRI machine was deactivated.
“The ward boy who was supposed to prevent such incidents told my family members to go inside when the machine was turned on,” Jitendra Maru said. “We are shocked and devastated.”
The victim’s family will reportedly receive compensation of 500,000 rupees ($7,870) from the state government of Maharashtra, the state of which Mumbai is the capital.
As reported by Fox News, a spokesperson for the Mumbai police publically announced that two employees from Nair Hospital had been arrested for negligence.
“We have arrested a doctor and another junior staff member under section 304 of the Indian penal code for causing death due to negligence,” the spokesperson stated.
While accidents involving MRI machines are a rare occurrence, incidents have occurred in the past, as noted by CBS News.
Two hospital employees were injured after being pinned between an MRI machine and a metal oxygen cylinder for four hours in 2014.
And in 2001, a 6-year-old boy was tragically killed after a metal oxygen tank flew towards the activated machine, crushing the young boy’s skull.
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