home
RSS
October 26th, 2011
06:01 PM ET

Don't get hurt by an MRI

MRI machines allow doctors to see inside your body and diagnose what’s wrong with you, but if mistakes are made, they can hurt or even kill you.

“If administered properly, it’s one of the safest exams that have ever been invented,” says Tobias Gilk, an MRI safety advocate.

But accidents do happen.

“Most errors are a combination of human error and bad timing,” says Dr. Emanuel Kanal, a professor of radiology and neuroradiology at the University of Pittsburgh. Faulty training and lax rules about who can be around the machine also contribute.

There are four main ways MRI machines can pose dangers.

Projectiles:
The M in MRI stands for magnetic, and  magnets are very powerful.

Gilk’s website, mrimetaldetector.com, shows photos of metal objects, including a bed, a floor polisher and a chair forced against the MRI machine.

If someone is being scanned when these devices fly into a machine, they could face serious injuries. A child in New York was killed in 2001 when the MRI machine sucked an oxygen canister into the machine where he was being scanned.

“Projectiles usually happen when there are breakdowns in policies and procedures and proper training wasn’t performed,” says Frank Shellock, an adjunct clinical professor of radiology and medicine at the University of Southern California. He points out that MRI magnets don’t just turn on when they are scanning. They are always energized and there is no visual cue the magnetic field is present. Newer MRI machines can be even more powerful.

Burns:
MRIs use RF transmitters and those can cause heat. “Burns happen, usually because a patient wasn’t prepared properly,” Shellock says. “Usually this is related to misuse of equipment.”

“Generally it is supposed to be gentle, like a heat lamp,” says Gilk. “If there are electrical conductors like an EKG lead (on the body) it becomes an antenna and can pick up the RF and concentrate it.”

Touching the side walls of the MRI tunnel can also lead to burns, Shellock says. MRI operators should put material between the patient and the wall if there is a risk of the patient coming in contact with it. Some burns have been so severe patients have required skin grafts.

Hearing loss:
MRI machines can be quite loud.

Gilk compares getting a scan to standing near a  jet aircraft. He says patients and anyone else near the machine should be given adequate earplugs or protective earphones.

“Scanner technology is improving and machines are getting quieter,” Gilk says, but “anyone in the room could get hearing loss.”

Implants and medical devices:
People with metal in their bodies, including medical devices like aneurysm clips and pacemakers, can face increased risks. The MRI’s powerful magnetic fields could move the device or cause damage.

“Most medical device manufacturer's products made in the last five years will be OK,” says Gilk. But, “if, for example, you had an aneurysm clip that is 15 years old, you should be particularly cautious.”

Shellock says he has studied 3,500 implant devices over about the last 25 years and the devices that are labeled as appropriate for use in an MRI should be fine.

In addition to the medical metal inside the human body, some patients require external devices to keep them alive or monitor their condition. Those devices need to be specifically designed to function around an MRI.

The federal government doesn’t regulate the use of MRIs and state regulations for the machines vary.

“Many states have more stringent requirements for hair colorists than who runs an MRI center,” Gilk says.

So what can patients do to make sure they are safe when they get an MRI?

1. Fill out MRI questionnaire: “Patients should fill out a screening form and ask the MRI technologist if they have questions,” Shellock says. It’s important that patients go over the questions with the technician to make sure they understand what is being asked.

Kanal says honest answers are essential. He gives the example that a patient might not want to reveal they have a wig, but it’s important for the operator to know.

Details about any metal that may be in the body, including bullets, medical devices like aneurysm clips, stents or pacemakers should also be shared with the operator.

2. Remove metal: Since magnetic metal poses such a risk in an MRI, it is essential patients and anyone near the MRI remove it.

3. Use hearing protection: Make sure you and anyone else in the room with you are given proper ear protection and make sure it fits.

4. Look for open doors: MRI facilities should be secure. Gilk says open doors could be a sign the facility isn’t as careful about access as it should be.

5. Look for wires: Make sure there are no unexpected wires or metallic objects like left over EKG sensors on your body. Some devices may be safe for an MRI, but others can be dangerous.

6. Don’t touch the side walls: Coming in contact with the inside of the MRI tube can lead to burns.


soundoff (676 Responses)
  1. Dede Aldrete

    I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored material stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an impatience over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again as exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this increase.

    https://www.electricpercolatorcoffeepot.com/10-top-coffee-bloggers/

    March 4, 2021 at 10:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Joetta Muwwakkil

    Hi there, I discovered your site by means of Google at the same time as searching for a comparable subject, your site came up, it seems good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

    https://www.electricpercolatorcoffeepot.com/10-top-coffee-bloggers/

    March 4, 2021 at 10:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Gwendolyn

    Great post!

    https://empirics.asia/christopher-boseak-founder-advaschedule-com/

    March 4, 2021 at 23:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Edythe Ludington

    But wanna input on few general things, The website layout is perfect, the subject matter is very superb : D.

    https://www.electricpercolatorcoffeepot.com/10-top-coffee-bloggers/

    March 6, 2021 at 14:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Eliana Sibounma

    https://www.electricpercolatorcoffeepot.com/10-top-coffee-bloggers/

    March 6, 2021 at 14:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Kip Logero

    https://www.electricpercolatorcoffeepot.com/10-top-coffee-bloggers/

    March 6, 2021 at 15:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. bet cbd oils

    which strains are high in cbd

    https://manchester-tv.co.uk/cbd-oil-and-other-tips-to-manage-the-stress-of-a-chaotic-christmas/

    March 6, 2021 at 19:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. simthanglong.vn

    I got this site from my buddy who told me about this web page and at the moment
    this time I am visiting this web page and reading very informative articles here.

    March 7, 2021 at 12:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. self-move-with-pets.webflow.io

    Everything is very open with a very clear explanation of the issues.
    It was truly informative. Your site is extremely helpful.
    Thank you for sharing!

    March 8, 2021 at 12:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Fitness Tips

    A further issue is that video games can be serious as the name indicated with the principal focus on learning rather than entertainment. Although, there's an entertainment part to keep the kids engaged, each and every game is usually designed to focus on a specific set of skills or programs, such as mathematics or science. Thanks for your post.

    https://www.ifashionstyles.com/fitness

    March 18, 2021 at 12:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. https://www.songmanhits.com

    I have never seen this view !

    https://images.google.gy/url?q=https://www.songmanhits.com

    March 21, 2021 at 22:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. https://shiatsu-web.com

    Best view i have ever seen !

    https://images.google.mk/url?q=https://shiatsu-web.com

    March 23, 2021 at 11:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. LmoppEncox

    http://essaywriteris.com/ – how to be a better essay writer write my essay wikipedia best essay websites professional essay writers for hire

    March 23, 2021 at 12:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. JvqqEncox

    https://dissertationahelp.com/ – phd dissertation writing services dissertation guidelines help with dissertation writing dissertation phd

    March 23, 2021 at 18:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. KbdnMile

    https://papersonlinebox.com/ – need someone to write my paper for me someone write my paper write my paper for money pay to write a paper

    March 23, 2021 at 21:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. FbshEncox

    https://thesisacloud.com/ – thesis data analysis thesis coaching writing a thesis paper master thesis writing service

    March 24, 2021 at 16:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. BrfgMile

    https://ljcialishe.com/ – cialis and high blood pressure https://cialisvja.com/ – cialis cheap https://viagraonlinejc.com/ – cvs viagra over the counter https://viagratx.com/ – cheap viagra free shipping https://buycialisxz.com/ – cialis dose

    March 24, 2021 at 22:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. AbgcEncox

    https://thesiswritingtob.com/ – psychology thesis what is thesis in writing research paper thesis example thesis

    March 24, 2021 at 22:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. GrvCrulk

    https://kloviagrli.com/ – best way t o take viagra https://vigedon.com/ – what does viagra do for women https://llecialisjaw.com/ – overnight cialis https://jwcialislrt.com/ – is there a generic cialis available? https://jecialisbn.com/ – cialis 10mg

    March 27, 2021 at 02:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. FbshEncox

    https://thesisacloud.com/ – master thesis writing service help in thesis writing writing thesis paper thesis binding

    March 27, 2021 at 12:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. AbgcEncox

    [url=https://thesiswritingtob.com/]thesis topic[/url] doctoral thesis thesis in writing phd degree

    March 27, 2021 at 18:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Billygem

    can you buy zithromax over the counter: generic zithromax where to get zithromax over the counter
    http://zithromaxproff.com/# zithromax cost

    March 30, 2021 at 01:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. 우리카지노

    카지노사이트

    https://cabelas.cc

    March 30, 2021 at 06:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Douglass Swanzy

    When I initially commented I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on each time a comment is added I get four emails with the exact same comment. Perhaps there is an easy method you can remove me from that service? Thanks!

    https://extraproxies.com/https-gomusclebuilding-com-testo-boost-xs/

    March 30, 2021 at 17:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Art Kaylo

    I blog quite often and I truly thank you for your information. This great article has really peaked my interest. I am going to book mark your site and keep checking for new details about once a week. I subscribed to your Feed too.

    https://extraproxies.com/d180d0b0d0b1d0bed182d0b0-d181-xml-d0bfd180d0b8-d0bfd0bed0bcd0bed189d0b8-jaxb/

    March 31, 2021 at 06:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. FbshEncox

    https://thesisacloud.com/ – uk thesis thesis writing service reviews thesis defense advice phd thesis writing

    April 1, 2021 at 17:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. AbgcEncox

    https://thesiswritingtob.com/ – writing the thesis master thesis writing service phd thesis writing choosing a thesis topic

    April 1, 2021 at 23:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. does canada sell generic vardenafil

    is vardenafil in the va formulary https://vegavardenafil.com/ generic vardenafil 20mg india

    April 4, 2021 at 12:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. tadalafil daily use

    tadalafil 40 mg daily https://elitadalafill.com/ tadalafil 40 mg from india

    April 5, 2021 at 12:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. injectable ed medicine

    alprostadil drug guide nursing implication https://alprostadildrugs.com/ alprostadil penile injection

    April 5, 2021 at 13:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. sildenafil discount coupon

    where to buy sildenafil in canada https://eunicesildenafilcitrate.com/ sildenafil 50 mg india online

    April 6, 2021 at 09:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. sildenafil tablets in india

    best sildenafil brand generic https://eunicesildenafilcitrate.com/ sildenafil australia online

    April 6, 2021 at 20:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. tadalis sx

    tadalafil tablets https://elitadalafill.com/ tadalafil

    April 7, 2021 at 05:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Buy Socks5 Proxy

    I am just writing to make you be aware of what a nice experience my wife's child experienced browsing your blog. She came to find too many details, which included what it's like to possess an amazing coaching mindset to make other people completely fully grasp certain specialized issues. You actually surpassed readers' desires. I appreciate you for delivering the important, trusted, educational and cool guidance on the topic to Emily.

    https://Dreamproxies.com

    April 7, 2021 at 22:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Buy Anonymous Proxies

    Hi there, I found your blog via Google while searching for a related topic, your site came up, it looks great. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

    https://dreamproxies.com

    April 7, 2021 at 23:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. illegal sales of alprostadil

    injectable erectile dysfunction drugs https://alprostadildrugs.com/ alprostadil suppository demonstration video

    April 7, 2021 at 23:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. AlexAgeve

    How to use your PC wisely? Let it earn some BTC for you! CryptoTab Browser is the easiest way to start mining and make your path to the world of cryptocurrency. Completely free and ready for instant mining — try it and you’ll see the result!
    https://riverorqpl.rimmablog.com/2202574/the-5-second-trick-for-bitcoin-games
    http://transfer-of-a-blockchain04702.widblog.com/52056001/purchase-power-of-bitcoin-secrets
    http://thomase912wnd1.bloggactif.com/profile
    https://hippoh790sja1.ssnblog.com/profile
    http://erickwkwgp.blue-blogs.com/3275865/mining-industry-of-the-scenario-an-overview
    http://ayden9l38yoc9.blog-gold.com/profile
    http://hectorwclnm.bloguetechno.com/The-Single-Best-Strategy-To-Use-For-bitcoin-bet-32346568
    https://waylonytngz.vidublog.com/2197258/rumored-buzz-on-mining-industry-of-humanity
    http://franciscoqizog.fitnell.com/37722180/the-basic-principles-of-new-convert-of-bitcoin
    https://traudlq900qhx9.thechapblog.com/2212992/considerations-to-know-about-conclusion-bitcoin

    How to make bitcoin
    https://ruhollahr134csk4.estate-blog.com/profile
    https://frankl913dyr8.ltfblog.com/profile
    https://xiaopingi802ume2.blogozz.com/profile
    https://daveq023arh3.blogozz.com/profile
    http://mining-industry-of-zcash02468.bloggerbags.com/3050150/top-seven-funny-herbal-extract-quotes
    https://shirinv250jey0.blogsumer.com/profile
    http://zionthwky.blogginaway.com/2634641/top-ten-funny-herbal-extract-quotes
    https://jacko477ndu8.bloguerosa.com/profile
    https://edwardo023aqh3.blogspothub.com/profile
    https://pikw479snh4.bloggactivo.com/profile

    http://bit.ly/3aUbuAU PBN grids from 2000 sites

    https://bit.ly/3tr3Mo8
    Best travel

    Cryptocurrency 3d2_82d

    zz@btc++

    April 8, 2021 at 00:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. vardenafil 20mg

    how do you take vardenafil 20 mg? https://vegavardenafil.com/ vardenafil cost

    April 8, 2021 at 09:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. FbshEncox

    https://thesisacloud.com/ – thesisacloud.com help with writing thesis thesisacloud.com writing a thesis paragraph

    April 9, 2021 at 10:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. AbgcEncox

    https://thesiswritingtob.com/ – thesiswritingtob.com help with a thesis statement thesiswritingtob.com help with thesis statements

    April 9, 2021 at 16:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. sildenafil citrate 100mg

    where to buy sildenafil onl https://eunicesildenafilcitrate.com/ sildenafil 100mg price usa

    April 11, 2021 at 18:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. sildenafil 100mg uk cheapest

    sildenafil price comparison in india https://eunicesildenafilcitrate.com/ sildenafil citrate 100mg tablets

    April 11, 2021 at 22:47 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Leave a Reply to Kip Logero


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.