July 20, 2016 — Bringing a wheelchair into a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan room too soon nearly cost a family $300,000 when the chair flew across the room and became attached to the machine at Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital. The Daily Mail reported that while the scanner had to be deactivated for several days, no damage was actually done during the incident. The scanner reportedly cost 10 million yuan (~$1.5 million) but was still under warranty. It is important to educate patients about the magnetic dangers of MRIs, and is the responsibility of the medical staff to ensure that safety requirements and proper procedures are followed at all times, as well as adequate room supervision.
Patients Need to be Warned of MRI Magnetic Dangers
Wheelchair reportedly attached to scanner when it was brought into scan room too soon after examination
Neurologists use structural and diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to identify changes in brain tissue (both gray and white matter) that are characteristic of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. The MRI images are analyzed using morphometry and tractography techniques, which detect changes in the shape and dimensions of the brain and in the tissue microstructure, respectively. In this example, the images show the normal brain of an elderly patient. Image courtesy of Jiook Cha.