…off the MRI magnet!”
Yes, that’s right, a recent news story from the NBC television affiliate station in Jacksonville, Florida, provides an account of how an off-duty police officer’s pistol wound up stuck to their MRI scanner, and cost the provider something in the neighborhood of $150,000 to remove!
You pretty much have to ignore the completely unintelligible explanation as to how MRI’s work or what would have caused the gun to be attracted to the MRI, but the underlying story of a police officer’s pistol getting stuck to the magnet (and pinning her hand to the scanner) again demonstrates the seriousness and frequency of MRI accidents.
And it’s not as though this is the first time. There are other, similar accounts, including this one in which the magnet caused the pistol to fire, despite the fact that the safety was engaged.
Perhaps, since the industry hasn’t taken any formal steps to improve patient screening with standard procedures or tools, we may have needed a reminder about the pervasiveness of screening accidents on the local newscast.
Screening lapses are nothing new. Time and time again we demonstrate that an exclusive dependence upon the vigilance of MR Technologists is not the most effective way to prevent these accidents. Patient safety, and the protection of millions of dollars of MRI equipment should come from layers of protection.
Additional layers of protection, such as ferromagnetic detection, aren’t an indictment of our Technologists, they’re necessary supports to help ease the burden on Techs and provide the greatest protection possible to patients, visitors, and millions of dollars of MRI equipment.Tobias Gilk, President & MRI Safety Director Mednovus, Inc. Tobias.Gilk@Mednovus.com www.MEDNOVUS.com
PS: Though this isn’t a picture of the account in this story, the image below is of a gun, or more precisely a pistol, drawn into an MRI scanner. Between the photo, below, the newscast from Jacksonville, and the journal article linked above, clearly these pistol-versus-MRI accidents aren’t unheard of.