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.

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.

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 (3,781 Responses)
  1. mbxray

    CALLING ALL TECHNOLOGISTS. EMAIL ELIZABETH COHEN @ empoweredpatient@cnn.com. I did.

    October 27, 2011 at 12:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Tricia Sullivan

    Technologists, Betsy, Technologists! Get it right! OccupyBoston.....

    October 27, 2011 at 13:47 | Report abuse | Reply

    Sorry that I watched this post. The reporting is somewhat accurate, but the level of scare tactic was horrifc.... Yes MRI can be hazardous, yes the TECHNOLOGIST- radiologic techs are not technicians, we are Technologist....Instead of telling people how dangerous the MRI exam "could" be why not educate them as to the questions they should as their technologist. You should do the research as to who is qualified to perform MRI exams, and report what education is required to obtain credentials as an MRI technologist. There are credentialing organizations that have qualifing examinations, that are not as simple as being a beautician. This is poor reporting and CNN should do better research before putting misleading information in the publics eye. There are mistakes and accidents in every professional practice, that does not make it correct or justifiable. What the public should have been iformed is that they have a choice to go to a facility the employees credentialed, qualified individuals to perform their MRI exams. Individuals can request the facility provide proof of credentialling. Educate the patients to ask questions about safety, this will trigger the technologist to be cautious, as they should be at all times. People lapse in their daily work, including poor reporting without both sides of the story being told. There are so many qualified, safe practicing MRI technologist around the country. Every single day we face potential harm to ourselves, staff, and patients. Everyone entering the MRI exam room has a responsibility, including the patient in order to have a safe enviroment.

    Miss Cohen should have done a better job of reporting, spend some time with the MRI technologist and staff to she how diligent they have to be to provide a safe enviroment. It is sad that you put this out there and created the stir that you did, next time look into the organizations that credential individuals, contact professional organizations who develope standards of practice.

    The other thing you need to know is that the united states government does not require individuals to have a license to practice in the radiologic profession, there are still states that do not require licensure to practice in radiologic profession. There are between 5 and 7 states left that have no licensure laws, therefore anyone can take your xrays in those states. If you really want to take a jab at something take a shot at the US government who has a health care bill before them that would require ANYONE performing radiographs to have a license. Take a look, CARE bill HR 3652. This could go as far as to cause physicians and facilities to loss their medicare/ medicaid reimbursements, and have fines.

    Very tired of poor reporting, and having patients come in scared that they are in an unsafe place, this was a report that only made this worse.

    October 27, 2011 at 14:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sheila

      You say the patient should ask the MRI Tech ? I have not found that to be very helpful except to show me that their lack of knowledge as to the physics and bio effects, an thermal effects to be frightening. "Exit..Stage Left" !

      October 27, 2011 at 18:59 | Report abuse |
    • angela

      Couldnt have said it any better 🙂

      October 27, 2011 at 19:38 | Report abuse |
    • Kathy McCain

      I commend Miss Cohen and her article!! She is not, in my opinion using scare tactics! It has been just over five years since my enclosed MRI with contrast. I am still housebound due to this monster machine! I have six different tinnitus signals, constantly every day. I also have loudness Hyperacusis, which for me means all environmental noise is AMPLIFIED. Immediately after the MRI for one year, I had a horrendous, burning pain in my left ear, jaw, and left side of neck as well !! I can not begin to describe the torment I went through and the suffering I am STILL living! I had 30 decibel hearing protection as well! The Siemens Espree 2008 model was just.......WAY TOO LOUD !!! These machines should be BANNED and obsolete. It is my understanding that they now have a "silent MRI," that has recently been in use. I bet I know why ! In our world of corporate greed, we will always need consumer advocates, like Miss Cohen to protect patients rights!

      November 26, 2017 at 16:06 | Report abuse |
    • Excellence Unlimited

      A guy has just been killed by an MRI machine in Mumbai, India, so yes, it is good to warn everyone of the dangers.

      January 29, 2018 at 20:28 | Report abuse |
  4. Zain

    I am a "technician". We are called technologists.

    We get more than 3 years school, and to specialize in MRI, you could do an extra two years of school with training. At least that's in Canada.

    We follow very strict rules to protect the patient and the public. I myself don't work in the MRI field, but in the CT scan field. We work closely together, and I am aware of what procedures we have follow to prevent accidents.

    I don't know in which state these "technicians" get less training that beauticians...

    October 27, 2011 at 14:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. IllinoisXrayTech

    WOW! Honestly? Thanks for filling the public's heads with more false concerns. Yes, accidents happen, but isn't that the case with anything? No disrespect to beauticians, but how dare you compare the two?! MRI Technologists, along with the rest of Radiology Technologists, are highly trained individuals. We are taught the risks and benefits of the testing and how to safely care for every patient. It would be every techs nightmare to have an accident such as these happen. That is why there are protocols in place such as wanding every patient with a metal detector and asking in depth histories prior to allowing the patient in the MRI suite. How about you stop trying to scare the public out of beneficial testing. And I thought Dr. Oz was bad...

    October 27, 2011 at 14:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sheila

      These are not false concerns. CNN reported on very important aspects of any MRI evaluation. If you were as trained as you claimed, you would be aware of these potential patient safety problems. It shows you are only trained to open a door, push a button and click a mouse. That isn't enough.

      October 27, 2011 at 19:07 | Report abuse |
    • MRI Technologist

      Yes thank you for commenting as well of some of the other medical professionals on here! I went to college full time for four years, have and associates degree, and then went back for a semester taking three full time courses as well as on site clinical training three days a week before taking my boards exam. This comment about our education is insulting!!! Where I work and in my past job we take great measure to ensure the safety of every patient EVERY TIME!

      October 31, 2011 at 11:10 | Report abuse |
    • Magneticgal

      I am very curious as to what YOUR qualifications are. Apparently you are knowledgeable regarding a wide variety of topics.
      You stated that "an "Associates Degree" is nothing more than a glorified high school diploma ".
      I am under the impression that YOU must have your Doctorate degree to make such an ignorant statement.
      You may,in the future,want to be very careful about making snap judgements based on limited erroneous information.
      The vast majority of MRI TECHNOLOGISTS are highly educated, caring individuals. We take our jobs very seriously and do everything we can to ensure the safety and comfort of our patients. We are committed to providing high quality exams to yield a correct and timely diagnosis for the physicians. I am PROUD to be a MRI Tech and feel sorry for people like yourself that feel the need to belittle others.

      October 31, 2011 at 16:49 | Report abuse |
    • Laura

      I am an MRI Technologist and I have a four year bachelor's degree in my field. CNN needs to be more careful on their reports that we have no more training than a beautician! I have been working in this field for seven years and we have EVERY patient fill out an safety report where they answer questions about any metal or surgeries that they have had that can cause a potential problem. We also have equipment that is safe to use in the scanner room and we have locks on all of our doors. Our patients DO NOT enter the area without us reviewing all of the information and determining that it is safe for the patient to have a scan. If there is any question to the patient's safety, I make sure I research the implant before I clear the patient for the scan. So thank you CNN for doing this report and doing a poor job of reporting all of the facts. I thought that reporters were supposed to report the facts and not opinions and thereby causing undo panic. Patients need to be educated, not made to fear having a test that is very helpful in diagnosing medical conditions.Maybe do a little more research next time and try not to insult the MRI Technologists who have worked really hard for their degree and then at their job!

      November 17, 2011 at 19:32 | Report abuse |
  6. Susan Hansen

    Dear Ms. Cohen,

    RE: MRI Accidents

    You are going to need to initiate a formal apology to Imaging Technologists. For, you obviously did not do any research on this story. Pleas allow me to educate the uneducated, yourself!

    First of all a 'Technologist' is one whom has earned a college degree. A 'Technician' is one whom does not require a college degree, such as a BEAUTICIAN! All MRI Technologist have earned an Associates Degree at minimum and have had their education scrutinized by ARRT via taking of Tests to become accredited!

    First learn about what you are speaking of before you open your mouth in the future. You have made me lose respect for CNN having someone such as you reporting inaccurately and only fueling the Public with misinformation!

    Susan A. Hansen, RT(R)(CT)

    October 27, 2011 at 14:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sheila

      You said it...the one's who do have some training only have an "Associates Degree" which in my book is nothing more than a glorified high school diploma when it comes to the complicated science of Electromagnetic Radiation and it's potential effects in the human body.

      October 27, 2011 at 19:09 | Report abuse |
    • Rachael RT (R)( MR)

      Honestly shelia I would looove to know what you do for a living, besides google words that make you feel smart, you dont know what you're talking about, you shouldn't even be on here...I would also like to see your schooling and degrees, no one is judging anyone on here, they are stating the points in this article are false, they are worded wrong and thats whats upsetting us techs, you, on the other hand are judging all technologists and undermining our abilities, you shouldn't judge someone unless you walked a mile in their shoes, maybe you could go to college and TRY to learn half of the material we learned, as well as all of our clinical experience, I hope God doesn't judge you the way you are judging all of us techs out there, or you'll be screwed

      October 27, 2011 at 20:56 | Report abuse |
  7. PKCohen

    No wonder I don't watch CNN! I can't believe that this reporter only provided a smudge of fact. Radiology TECHNOLOGISTS do have to undergo a minimum of two years of intense training in a certified radiography program. Most RT's that perform MRI, have gone an additional year. There are seven states in the United States that do NOT require RT's to have a formal education; therefore, in those states, even a hair stylist has more schooling than a technician. (There is a difference between technician and technologist, look it up in the dictionary.) You might want to do some research on something called the CARE Bill, you can find tons of info at http://www.asrt.org. Maybe, you would like to do a little reporting on that subject to get the public on that band wagon. Ms. Cohen (no relation), you did a disservice to the general public by failing to report the truth.

    October 27, 2011 at 14:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mike love

      i thought i was watching FOX NEWS!!!!!!!!!

      November 5, 2011 at 09:25 | Report abuse |
  8. Lisa

    I did not watch that clip, but I watched the conference live and the hairdresser quote... "surprise" taken out of context.
    For anyone who did not watch the FDA conference live streamed on the internet Tues, Oct 25, the quote was "many states have more restrictions of hairdressers,” was made by someone in the MRI industry, NOT by the CNN journalist. (I know because that quote was in my notes.) When that speaker made that quote in real time, I and said to my self, "Thank goodness, someone gets it!" "I want trained on this piece of equipment before I use it," "I want to know what safety measures we can add or do to keep our patients safe," " I want a more efficient way of learning about new unsafe devices BEFORE a patient hands me a card over the counter," "I want to know why this vendor has pads to keep the patients arms away from the bore and this vendor does not." THIS is what the conference was about! The quote was not a slam against techs it was a wake up call for the FDA. It is unfortunate; it is the one line CNN picked up on to take out of context and freak the public out and ire technologists across the board, but then again, CNN is Headline news; This comment was made to the FDA in reference to promote ongoing education for technologists, to make terminology consistent throughout the industry (i.e. MRI conditional vs. MRI compatible), and to bring safety practices to the forefront.
    How did CNN miss these gems?
    Other quotes were:" Patients get their info from episodes of "House", "Patients learn from Hollywood", and the best was a story about how a older lady was asked 3 times if she had a pacemaker and she responded "no;" once inside the MRI room she said "oh, by the way, I do have a pacemaker, but my neighbor told me not to tell you because you wouldn't scan me." Just a day in the reality of our jobs!
    Registered MRI Technologist for 17yrs

    October 27, 2011 at 15:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sheila

      Thank you for your post Lisa !

      October 27, 2011 at 19:11 | Report abuse |
    • Lisa

      Shelia, do not misconstrue what I'm saying. MRI Technologists are very well trained professionals. There is always room for improvement and streamlining as any aspect of life. It's an entire industry out there, not just Technologists..we are only the faces you see, and we are DAMN good at our jobs.

      If you dislike and distrust MRI and the technologists so much, maybe you should talk to your doctor and avoid it all together. But by looking at your other posts, it doesn't look like there is a medical venue out there that you would not find criticism with.

      October 27, 2011 at 21:57 | Report abuse |
  9. Another Tech, ARRT (R) (MR)

    Just for the record, between prerequisites, the two-year Radiography program, and an additional year for Magnetic Resonance, I went to school for almost 5 years. I'd say that's a major difference from a hairstylist.

    October 27, 2011 at 15:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. SCOHEN

    I read your article Elizaebeth. Maybe it is time for CNN to make the public aware that not all states have good licensing laws for people in the Medical Imaging profession. As one person pointed out, there are SEVEN states with in these United States that DONOT have any of licensing laws! That measn theat a facility in any of those states can hire some from a local restaurant, and give that person, maybe a week of on the job training to do what took us between 2-4 years to complete.
    And yes, there are better licensing laws for beauticians than our profession. And can you imagine that there are some states that require a JUNK dealer to have a license. Though, I doubt they have to go through the schooling and trainiing we do. Maybe you should try to get the puiblic involved in getting better licensing laws for this country. You can start by looking at the CARE Bill (H.R. 2104) This is a bill that our profession is trying to get passed in Congress. Try using some of your clout and get our congressman behind this bill! And yes I am a " Technologist." Do not call our profession Technicians.

    October 27, 2011 at 16:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lisa

      Well said!

      October 27, 2011 at 21:37 | Report abuse |
  11. Sheila

    Thank you CNN for posting on potential risks of MRI's ! We need more reporting that alerts the public of potential medical risks they need to know. Suggested Subjects:

    CAT Scans
    Pet Scans
    Female Birth Control
    Psychotropic Drugs
    Antibiotics (did you know antibiotics can eat into brain tissue and cause lesions ?)

    There is so much that is never told to the public.

    October 27, 2011 at 19:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • David

      Sheila, I am an MRI Tech trained at the University of Pennsylvania under some of the top radiologists and technologists in the country. My clinical background has been primarily within the walls of two of the top hospitals in the country. I, and most MRI technologists I've come in contact with, maintain a high degree of understanding in MR safety and potential bioeffects of exposure to the MR environment. We also complete a very thorough screening of each patient prior to stepping one foot into the MR suites. To be sure, there are some "button pushers" out there, but the vast majority of MR Technologists I've come into contact with are extraordinarily educated in anatomy and physiology, 3D modelling and post-processing, MR physics, radiation physics and biology, etc. We're not the idiots you claim with "glorified high school diplomas." I'm not sure why you have such a personal vendetta against MR Technologists, but your repeated posts and replies hint to me that you're extremely ignorant. Please, if you're going to post, be constructive and display that you are informed of your topic. Or at least do a better job of faking it.

      October 29, 2011 at 15:22 | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Sheila, I think a report encouraging patients to discuss tests ordered with their physician. First and foremost, you should not leave your doctor's office without a clear picture of what the doctor has ordered and why he's ordered it. So many patients come to me (MRI Technologist) having no idea what their doctor has ordered and what he or she is looking for. Patients are too often intimidated by their doctors. That needs to stop. Patients need to become a more active part of their treatment. Doctors cannot read your mind or feel your pain. You have to communicate with them for them to be able to treat you. Never leave your doctor's office with questions. If possible, you shoulder write down questions before seeing your doctor and take someone with you to help remember everything you're told.

      November 1, 2011 at 13:21 | Report abuse |
    • Barbara

      Sheila, Instead of educating people on how to prepare for an MRI, you try and scare them. All I can say is I am a far BETTER Technologist than you are reporter!!! We care about people and our Patients, we educate them about the procedures.

      October 2, 2012 at 15:05 | Report abuse |
  12. Rick Keener

    Obviously very shotty reporting by CNN. Shame on you!

    October 27, 2011 at 20:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. A Students viewpoint

    Let me start by saying, I am only a student who has not finished x-ray school, but I do know I have required classes and required training on MRI safety. So if anything I say is wrong to those technologists, please correct me.
    The woman reporting this needs to read more carefully the quotes that have been cited. In the last part of the video she says, MRI "technicians" have less training than a hair stylist. I must say that in order to even be back behind the control panel of an MRI one must have an RT certification and/or MRI certification or training levels 1 and 2 (RT is at least 2 years). Not to mention that it is required by the national governing board for registered technologist that they have so much continuing education every year in order to keep holding your license of practice. So for her to say some have less training than hair stylists, that is badly mistaken and she has also misquoted Mr. Gilk. Also, she kept calling them technicians and they are called TECHNOLOGISTS. Going to school and having those RT MR credentials behind your name sets them apart. There are no technicians behind a MRI, at least not in Indiana. I am living proof from a university in Indiana, that I will have a bachelors in Radiology when I graduate and have to then go take a board exam to get my license to even practice radiology. I can prove we have more training than hair stylists. Second of all, the MRI TECHNOLOGIST should always screen the patients twice: written and verbal. The issue of metal objects being pulled into the scanner would not be an issue if those hospital and clinical staff who had no business being in an MRI suite stayed out until they were properly screened! There is specific zoning guidelines for MRI rooms and only those certified in Radiology or trained in MRI should be allowed back in the MRI zones. MRI is taken too lightly by the medical staff other than those qualified to handle MRIs. So rather than placing the blame of such metal objects being pulled to the bore of the magnet on the technologist; let us examine a hospitals responsibility to train their entire staff about MRIs to avoid these accidents. Also, not ALL metal is MRI unsafe this is why the technologist screens the patient verbally before they do the scan. Sometimes patients have metal devices that are actually MRI safe and MRI rooms have their own set of equipment that is used for the purpose of preventing an accident. I as a student do not appreciate the reporter presenting false facts to the nation about MRI's. There is a guideline called the WHITE PAPER of MRI safety that she needs to take a look at. I think she needs to do more research and on the job researching before she makes another report about MRI safety instead of scarring people into thinking the technologists have no clue what they are doing.

    October 27, 2011 at 21:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. mike

    I'm bewildered by the hostility to the reporter here. As a distressingly unattractive American, I'm delighted to hear of the rigorous standards demanded of beauticians here.

    October 28, 2011 at 05:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • scohen

      Mike: You obviously are not a medical imaging professional. While hairdressers (beauticians) perform a needed service on a daily basis, you cannot equate them with individuals that are in the medical field. Esp. when they deal with sophisticated euqiipment such as an MRI machine or CAT scan machine. Plus any machine that uses radiation. We go through 2-4 years of training. Plus we have to have continuing education throughout our career.

      October 28, 2011 at 07:26 | Report abuse |
  15. TOM

    Sheila WHY don"t you post your CV. An expert like you must have a great deal of education.
    You should drop by my office. I do mental health evaluations.

    October 29, 2011 at 00:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. TopicsInRadiography

    Accidents happen in hospitals on all levels of patient care from admissions representatives to physicians and including MRI. I am a radiologic technologist myself, and to say that technologists never make mistakes is unrealistic. However, the information about the level of training in this report is highly inaccurate. If an MRI technologist is registered, you can rest easy in knowing that they have passed courses and exams that test their knowledge of safety around this equipment, and they have had the most education about the equipment that can be provided aside from a degree in engineering.

    Having worked in many different states across the U.S., I am painfully aware that not every state regulates the educational standards that radiologic technologists (x-ray, CT, MRI, etc.) are required to possess before taking care of patients. It is a fact that many states require a license to cut hair, but not to perform radiologic exams on patients. The scare tactics used in this report are simply misdirected and the reporter is misinformed about a few things.

    A registered technologist takes offense at the term "technician" because there is a lot of difficult education required to become a technologist. Regardless of the opinion of the reporter, and whether you live in a regulated state or not, the risks vs. benefits of having an MRI examination should always be discussed with your physician, not CNN.

    October 30, 2011 at 19:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. TopicsInRadiography

    Oh yes... and support the CARE bill: https://www.asrt.org/content/GovernmentRelations/CAREBill/faq_legislative.aspx

    October 30, 2011 at 19:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. MRI Technologist

    Maybe the reporter should look into the statistics of this information to see how little these accidents are occuring. Also when they are occuring how many times it was the MRI technologist who made it happen. Most of these accidents are made after hours by cleaning staff or a highly educated Anesthesiologist or nurse who goes shoving a cart into the room during an anesthesia case without permission.

    October 31, 2011 at 11:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Elaine AhNEE RT(R)(M), RDMS (OB)(ABD)(BR), RVT

    You seem to be quite gullible and believe everything you see on television as well as have a personal grudge against Imaging. You may throw around complicated terminology but it doesn't mean you know (or understand) what it means.

    1. Technologist are individuals that are registered in their field. Years past registration was not considered a priority. The benefits outweighed the risk. Now individuals are vigorously trained and must meet standards in order to qualify to take the test. Beyond testing, they are mandated to maintain continuing medical education credits or risk losing their licenses. BTW there are many important jobs in our society that require no schooling such as parenting!!!!

    2. EMR, you use the term but it is doubtful that you truely know the meaning. EVERYTHING emits EMR! EMR is is a form of energy that exhibits wave-like behavior as it travels through space. It consists of radio waves, microwaves, infrared radiation, visible light, ultraviolet radiation, X-rays and gamma rays. It is also apparent you do not know (or understand) the definition of radiation. The term radiation, in the physicist’s sense of the word, is any kind of radiant energy, including light. MRI does not emit any ionizing radiation whatsoever.
    I was just curious where YOU studied EMR before operating a microwave oven?

    3. The anger you personally display towards imaging personal I have seen several times in the past. It was from patients who were trying to collect on a disability for benefits (SSI) and imaging tests showed their studies to be negative.

    4. I would also like to refer to an earlier post made by you, "You say the patient should ask the MRI Tech ? I have not found that to be very helpful except to show me that their lack of knowledge as to the physics and bio effects, an thermal effects to be frightening. "Exit..Stage Left" !" . Before posting on discussion forums and conversing about such subjects as Electromagnetic Radiation you may want to choose a simpler read. May I suggest proper use of conjunctions and punctuation? I believe even folks with a "glorified high school diploma" possess these skills.

    5. I was personally curious of your source on antibiotics and the fact that they "eat through your brain and cause lesions".

    I have been in the Imaging profession (Ultrasound) for nearly 30 yrs. I did not attend formal school in the area of sonography because frankly none were available at the time. I received my X-RAY training through the U.S. Army in the matter of 13 weeks. I have encountered many MRI Technologists throughout the years. I have never encountered ONE that displayed sloppiness or lack of concern for the safety of their patient.

    October 31, 2011 at 21:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. MRI_Educator

    I have been in the MRI field for over 15 years and now teach MRI at a university. During the first few weeks of training for students, even before any student comes in contact with any patients, they are thoroughly educated in MRI safety, and this is continued throughout their entire coursework and clinical training. All students are trained in proper patient screening, hearing protection, removing all metal, knowledge of implanted metal devices and other metal inside the body (i.e., bullets, shrapnel, etc.) and how the magnetic fields can cause injury, safety aspects for the main magnetic field, RF fields, and gradient magnetic fields. These are just a few, but as you can see, safety is a primary concern in my classroom in regard to becoming good, caring, educated MRI Technologists. I even have them go to continuing education conferences where safety is discussed while in the program.

    Granted, some of the information presented in this video is accurate – some accidents do happen and some patients get injured, but the overwhelming majority of MRI scans performed worldwide are completed without incident. This is not an epidemic, however, and the public should not be scared to have an MRI.
    There are also some complete inaccurate statements in this video, however, most notably in the beginning when Ms. Cohen states that MRI scanners "attract any metal in the room." This is completely inaccurate information. There are many types of metal, some of which is ferrous (attracted to a magnet) and some that is non-ferrous (not attracted to a magnet). Most if not all MRI suites have non-ferrous stretchers, wheelchairs, while others have non-ferrous oxygen tanks, IV poles, and other non-ferrous equipment (these are all typically made of aluminum). These are clearly marked as "Non-Magnetic", and are to be used in transporting patients into the MRI scan room. Non-ferrous materials, such as the above mentioned wheelchairs and stretchers, can be brought into the MRI scanner room without incident. Patients in my facility where I work (I also still scan) are asked to undress and wear cloth gowns and to remove all metal (this includes bras, jeans, pants, watches, jewelry, etc.) prior to the examination. If there are any implanted medical devices made of metal (this includes screws, pins, rods, and replacement joints) I double-check to see if these devices have been tested for safety prior to the patient receiving the scan. The best method to do this is to obtain the device make and manufacturer and check on http://www.mrisafety.com, an excellent resource created by the renowned Dr. Frank Shellock.

    November 1, 2011 at 13:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. "Beautician"


    November 1, 2011 at 17:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Donna

    I heard about this report today and couldn't believe it. I am a CT?MRI Technologist and have been in the field of Radiology for 30yrs. This report is how bad information gets spread. Nothing against beauticians, they are trained for the job they do as well as MRI Technologists. There is always going to be a bad apple and an accident may occur. Everyday I come across patients who have no clue that an MRI is a strong magnet. They need to be educated by me and others on our team. I would have liked to see this reporter say yes MRI's can be dangerous but with the proper safety guidelines followed they are very safe and as a pt please ask questions, do your research before getting to the MRI appt. It is a group effort.

    November 3, 2011 at 18:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Spencer Howe

    MRI's are notorious for being one of the most uncomfortable procedures. Fortunately, pneumatic technology allows for patients to listen to music while receiving a scan. Before you schedule an appointment, ask your imaging facility if they have an MRI patient stereo. Most sites do in fact provide patients with the ability to listen to music while inside the MRI bore. MRI audio have designed a system that has no metal inside the bore of the magnet and is 100% safe. To learn more go to http://www.mriaudio.com

    April 30, 2012 at 20:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Name*maryann DiFalco Mannello

    I had an open M.R.I and was not given any ear plugs or any ear protection and later that night I could not hear the TV every thing was like an echo my left ear is the worse. I was facing out that way. I've been to An E.N.T. Doctor and he things my ears are damage due to noise trama. I have to go and have a test done to see how bad they are. I'm so upset I have to have close caption on my TV I can't her people talk. I want to know Can I Sue them? Can someone tell me thank you..

    October 14, 2012 at 20:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lora Zimmerman

      Yes. I am currently in litigation due to my hearing loss, tinnitus, and hyperacusis. I was given no hearing protection nor the panic bulb My head was strapped down in an immobilization device. You can read my entire paragraph on this site.

      October 13, 2016 at 12:47 | Report abuse |
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  31. trishamattson

    I had an MRI and nurses made sure I had no metal on me....I was in for about 10 min and the technician pulled me out and said it was not working right because metal was detected....he checked me and put me in again....pulled me out again after 5min and said same thing.....checked under me and the hospital had something stuck onto a pad they put under me....I went in again and my nurse had them take me out after about 10 min. She told me later she saw so etching on the screen....do you think I should mention this to the hospital in case their might be consequences? If there are any what should I look for ? Thank you,

    June 22, 2013 at 13:43 | Report abuse | Reply
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    September 28, 2013 at 03:13 | Report abuse | Reply
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    The Siemens MRI Headphones then they do not need to search the whole internet because MRIaudio is the best online store that offers the best products as per the requirement of the customers at reliable price. For getting the best product, it is the most wonderful place that also offers different types of the headphones.


    November 16, 2013 at 03:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. William

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    January 21, 2014 at 00:43 | Report abuse | Reply
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    January 21, 2014 at 00:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Sandra

    I had an MRI just the other day in which when I got their I realized that my dress I was wearing had metal strips in it like the tinsel that one puts on achristmas tree. I asked the Tech if that would be a problem and that I had a slip on underneath my dress and that I could take the dress off. She said it would be no problem to wear the dress. I went in to have one done because I have degenerative disk disease in my lower lumbar spine and had been having some real issues with what I think is caused by a sciatic nerve problem that started sometime back. I Also had to have an mammogram done the same day and we had some time before my MRI so we went shopping a little and I can't stand to long before my back gives out and I have to sit down. So when we arrived at the stand up MRI place I was already in some pain and when I got onto the machine and it started everything was fine until it hit my lower sacrum and on the left side I could feel the heat and pulse with some pain and in reading some of the testimonies here of RF burns I was wondering could this be what I was feeling and do I need to get medical help as my left hip an buttocks burns on the inside and I am in pain.

    March 22, 2014 at 09:47 | Report abuse | Reply
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  38. Mindy

    Less training!!! I have a Bachelors of Science in Biology (5 years) , a degree in Radiologic Technology (2 years), a certification in CT technology (self study & clinical requirements) & in MRI (self study & clinical requirements). I would love to meet a beautician that has that much training.

    March 28, 2015 at 23:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Name*shandy lowell

    I went in for and mri at parkland hospital on 1/3/2015 and noticed my burns after being released on 1/4/2015, i took the burn pics of my chest and side but they look bad still the hospital and different representatives have been calling me to try and convince me that burns dont happen inside an mri or ct equipment. Yet they ring my phone like they are guilty, which they are i hate that hospital!

    April 4, 2015 at 17:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Mrs. Jimenez

    An MRI technician refused to allow me to take off my wedding rings and I spent more than an hour in the machine with my rings on. Since then I have had parathyroid problems and a rash on the left middle finger. My health has taken a rapid decline when I was not suffering from low calcium or parathyroid problems. I have a wealth of illnesses.

    The technician stated that it will not affect me, and it has! I was hospitalized recently as my calcium was

    June 23, 2015 at 13:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Antony

    I've been watching the latest updates in the field of medicine, to be aware of all new products. Just read this article on 20 Tesla MRI. Shows some insights into the future of medicine and medical imaging http://bimedis.com/latest-news/browse/84/does-the-world-need-a-20-t-mri-machine

    August 5, 2015 at 04:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Antony

    Hi, I've been watching the latest updates in the field of medicine, to be aware of all new products. Just read this article on 20 Tesla MRI. Shows some insights into the future of medicine and medical imaging http://bimedis.com/latest-news/browse/84/does-the-world-need-a-20-t-mri-machine

    August 5, 2015 at 04:14 | Report abuse | Reply
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  44. Donald Haas

    Went in for a MRI of my L-spine, came out with a second degree burn to my upper right arm. Burn is slightly elongated and about the size of a half dollar

    January 24, 2016 at 10:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. 女用振动棒


    March 18, 2016 at 10:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Belinda

    Gosh, some people who would class themselves as qualified are so stupid. It frightens me. To the era on trying to proclaim that MR imaging uses NO radiation, what the bloody hell do you think RF is? Yes, it's a non-ironing radiation just within the range of microwaves. MRI is not a "giant magnet". Actually, RF radiation is the fundamental element to its operation, it us a class B possible carcinogen. Go on, pick up on the word "possible" and have a go at me. The very fact that some studies have proved it is harmful to biological life (though not enough manage to be published to be statistically significant, statistically being the operative word there) should get your brain cells working. Shame the job seems to attract such closed-minded individuals.

    April 23, 2016 at 14:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Vanessa Guyette

      I don't believe the author of this article or the person making this comment actually know much about the education and training involved to become an MRI technologist. The test can not be performed by someone who has not attended a program of less than two years or in many cases more. Everyone who has been trained is educated as to Physics and any dangers associated with the test. They have to be registered and the test taken is not easy and most that perform MRI have taken an additional registry and had additional training and in addition to being a Radiologic Technologist (not technician) they have an additional registry in MRI. There are often aides who may bring a patient in and prepare them who amy not have a degree, but they should be educated to the dangers and what the patient must have removed before the test. The poster seems to lack the knowledge needed to make the claims or explain the risks or training. I am retired, but was a educated and have a degree from a university as a Radiologic Technologist, returned to school and became specialized in all fields related to Ultrasound and was then a Professor of Physics and clinical coordinator for a program. My husband is a Radiologist and is a PhD and MD. I hate to read comments or stories from those who don't have adequate knowledge and simply cause undue fear and provide inaccuracies to others who don't know otherwise.

      June 24, 2016 at 11:27 | Report abuse |
  47. post torture

    I had an MRI yesterday of sinuses and neck and shortly into it, a pressure point started on the back of my head. By the end of the hour I felt like was being tortured. Imagine a sharp stone in your shoe and being made to stand on it for an hour- that was what was in the back of my head. I was nearly weeping from the pain and I know I didn't hold still. That bulb thing they give you to call the technician/ technologist or whatever you are is useless- unless they just want to hear you scream. I asked if I could take a break before she injected the contrast and she said no. Afterward she asked why was I moving my feet? I'm writhing, that's why. Why did you put a bolt in the pillow for me to lie on- that's what if felt like. No one told me to empty my pockets. My car keys wound up on the side wall of the machine. The technician tossed them aside and casually said, well, I hope they still work. Ha ha. She left my watch on too. It was ok but the time was wrong when I got out. I'm still having flashbacks. And believe me, the technician could not have cared less. She said, well these images aren't good, maybe they will be good enough. It was a horrible experience- and I am no stranger to pain. I have migraines, have broken my ribs in the past, have walked a couple of miles with a sprained ankle, have torn a muscle. This ranked right in there for horrific pain. It was an awful experience.

    May 3, 2016 at 17:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. gerald.richards@sbcglobal.net

    I have suffered from environmental silliness for 30 years. I have been detoxing many chemicals, heavy and light metals, and other toxic substances at a slow rate which is all I can tolerate. How would the mri affect my detox. Would it pull out the toxins too fast and be dangerous. Dr. Is looking for a tumor that might be causing a very high Cath level.

    July 11, 2016 at 15:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Kevin V

    There some issues to look at here. I agree with the Radiological Technologists (RTs) or Medical Equipment Repair Technicians (MRI Repair Technicians and the like) that they MUST complete a 2 to 4 years of collegiate work and obtain degree and certifications. Let’s get this one straightened out. The RT is the operator and reader, who can and often does work to become a Registered Radiologist Assistant or later a Radiologist. The Technician, is a person who repairs and upkeeps medical devices, and they are trained to the associate’s degree (as a minimum requirement) in biomedical equipment technology engineering or electronics and it is a requirement for most medical equipment repairers. The Technician is trained in these skill areas at a college:
    • Mechanical engineering
    • Electrical engineering
    • Electronics
    • Computer-aided design
    • Human anatomy and physiology
    They often go on to train in electrical and biomechanical engineering fields. That is the difference between a Radiological Technologists with MRI certifications and a Technician who works and repairs MRIs. Technician is NOT the term to use for an RT.
    Second, MRI are like any other device and CAN malfunction. It is unlikely that it will do so during testing, unless the device is NOT being properly maintained; such as not charging the helium in the unit, or a cooling water failure, but even these tests will just warn the operator (the RT) that something is wrong. As far as people with metals in there body or tattoos, well, they need to make sure the Operators and medical staff are aware of this issue; because, the unit can exert over 2,000 lbs/(per) square inch of electromagnetic force on metal objects (note, the objects must be made of a ferrous material. Non-Ferrous Metals are not a concern for an MRI, as they are not attractive to a magnetic field, such as the one generated by an MRI Machine.
    MRI risk, danger
    MRI uses low-energy, non-ionizing radio waves. There are no major known risks, dangers or side effects. Some people report temporary fatigue or headache. MRI is not proven to be safe during pregnancy. The magnet at the center of the procedure may affect, or be affected by, any person fitted with a pacemaker, hearing aid, or other electrical device. Unlike x-rays and computed tomographic (CT) scans, which use radiation, MRI uses powerful magnets and radio waves. The magnetic field produced by an MRI is about 10 thousand times greater than the earth's.

    October 4, 2016 at 13:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kevin V

      PS: I hold degrees in BS Electronics and Adult Instruction, a BS in Anthropology with a Minor in History (this one was for the fun of it, and a Master of Information Systems Management; also, at least 4 people in my family are RTs and RAAs and RN in my family, in case we are wondering where my knowledge on the subject comes from.

      October 4, 2016 at 13:24 | Report abuse |
  50. xizziz

    I have had a clip put on an aneurysm in march of 2016, should i just assume that it is safe for me to have an MRI?

    October 15, 2016 at 14:39 | Report abuse | Reply
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