Steven and Sean on the Polar Bear Cam
Steven and Sean on the Polar Bear Cam

Friday, January 21, 2005

The 'M' Stands For Magnetic

MRI Machine Sucks In Floor Buffer, Worker's Earring
Damage Estimated At $200,000

SEATTLE -- An expensive MRI machine at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle suffered hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage when a metal floor buffer was mistakenly placed nearby and was sucked in by the machine's powerful magnets.

It happened Jan. 3 when a member of the housekeeping staff improperly took the buffer near the machine, despite a warning sign not to use metal objects near it.

MRI machines (magnetic resonance imaging machines) are sophisticated diagnostic tools used to provide detailed pictures of the body's interior.

Several hospital workers tried to remove the buffer. Instead, according to a hospital incident report, one worker lost an earring and another had his hearings aids destroyed.

Damage is estimated to be at least $200,000.

The hospital says it plans retraining of staff, and no one has been disciplined yet.

The magnets in MRI's are really, really big

MRI scanners and magnetic objects don't mix.

Here are links to photos of various medical and cleaning equipment that have been sucked into MRI scanners.

Definitely don't try this at home...

We're flying to Memphis on January 30th.

- Kathleen

Photos thanks to:

Simply Physics
MRI Accidents


Blogger Sleeping Beauty said...

OMG. That's unreal. What was the worker thinking. I remove everything metal before entering MRI room.

January 22, 2005 7:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I promise that this will not happen at St. Jude! We buff the floors by hand! ha ha!

I look forward to seeing ya'll next week for your MRI!

Mike Hudson
MRI Tech Extrodinare

January 23, 2005 3:20 AM  

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