Elderly South Korean man dies after oxygen cylinder gets sucked into MRI machine

Anyone entering an MRI room should not have metal objects on or in their person as MRI machines utilise a powerful magnetic force

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
Tuesday 19 October 2021 14:13
<p>Representational: Brain activity being monitored by an MRI machine</p>

Representational: Brain activity being monitored by an MRI machine

A 60-year-old patient in South Korea died after being hit on the head by a 60kg oxygen cylinder that was sucked into a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine.

The incident took place on Thursday in the southern city of Gimhae when the man, whose name has not been revealed, was taken to the MRI suite of a hospital in a critical condition after suffering from seizures.

Police superintendent Choi Tae-yong said they were investigating why an oxygen tank was brought into the MRI room.

“We will thoroughly investigate the incident to determine whether human errors were involved,” the police officer told South China Morning Post.

He added that the inbuilt oxygen supply system may have been malfunctioning, leading to the requirement of an external cylinder. There were no CCTV cameras in the MRI room.

There are usually no metal objects around MRI machines because of the strong magnetic force.

Anyone entering MRI rooms is required to leave magnetic metal objects outside, including keys and jewellery, according to the South Korean government’s guidelines.

This is because the magnetic field of MRI scanners are up to 60,000 times stronger than the planet’s.

In a similar incident in 2018, a 32-year-old Indian man died after being sucked into an MRI machine while carrying an oxygen cylinder at a hospital in Mumbai city.

A decade ago, a six-year-old boy died at a New York hospital after his head was crushed by an oxygen cylinder flung across the room by an MRI machine.

And in September, a worker helping to move an MRI scanner from the fourth to the first floor of the University of Utah Hospital in the US’s Salt Lake City died after the scanner fell to the ground.

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