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!
Nearly all MRI accidents that wind up the subject of civil lawsuits conclude the same way… in confidential settlement protected by a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). This makes it extremely difficult to get to the facts associated with any particular accident. Currently the highest profile MRI accident (the death of a young boy from a flying oxygen cylinder) is in pre-trial litigation and is our best window into the legal responsibility of Technologists and providers. Today, however, I learned of another suit in which a Tech is suing her former employer for willfully putting off needed system repairs that compromised image quality and diagnostic value.
A very common question asked about ferromagnetic detection systems is, “will it find __________ [insert the object of your choice: pacemaker, cell phone, pocket knife, intra-orbital fragments…]?” Funny, but in the hundreds, if not thousands, of times that question has been posed to me, never once has it been, “will it find a nail I stuck in my nose 30 years ago?”
I have a serial weakness for medical dramas. I get sucked-in and watch for a couple of seasons before the absurdity catches up with me. With respect to MRI, it seems that 99% of the time the shows are so wildly off-base that it seems that each must outdo its own crazy scenarios (and those of the other medical dramas) to come up with a new MRI-related plot gimmick.
But then, typically after I’ve lost all hope of seeing anything that approaches reality, something plausible and even downright real is shown on one of these programs…