Feature | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | October 25, 2019 | Dave Fornell

Nurse Injured in MRI Accident at Swedish Hospital

Metal in weighted vest believed to have caused extensive injuries that landed nurse in intensive care

An example of a semitruck trailer-based mobile MRI suite.

An example of a semitruck trailer-based mobile MRI suite, similar to the one involved in the accident.

October 25, 2019 — A radiology nurse was seriously injured Oct. 23 at Sunderby Hospital in Luleå, located in northern Sweden, when caught in the strong magnetic field of the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner and pulled against it. The X-ray nurse is currently being treated at the intensive care unit at the hospital.

A patient was in the MRI system undergoing an imaging exam when the accident happened. The hospital said the nurse went to the patient and was apparently wearing a weight vest containing ferris metal, according to to a report on the incident by the Swedish news source Aftonbladet. Two security guards from the hospital came to the site to help and both suffered minor injuries.

"It is a tragic event and the X-ray nurse in question has a long experience," said Per Berglund, head of the county healthcare division. 

The patient who was in the MRI machine did not suffer any injury. A relative and another patient were in the waiting room when the accident occured. They were not injured but the hospital said they were shaken by the incident. The accident occurred in the mobile MRI truck located near the hospital entrance. The hospital has canceled all scheduled exams on the system until further notice. 

"Right now we chose to stop the MR operation in the truck so that the police can find out exactly what has happened," Berglund said. "Other MR operations in the county continue as usual. I want to be clear that an MRI examination is safe and that no patient needs to be afraid to undergo the examination. This type of accident is very unusual."

The MRI system is owned by Aleris, a contractor for Region Norrbotten. The injured X-ray nurse is employed by Aleris. The hospital said the mobile MRI system undergoes regular servicing.

An MRI creates a very strong magnetic field, requiring everyone entering the examination room to leave all magnetic metal objects outside the room. This includes jewelry, coins, keys, credit cards, mobile phones, watches and hearing aids. The magnetic field can destroy electronic devices and bank cards can be erased.

See photos of the scanner and the truck.


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