A Brazilian man died last month when his handgun exploded near a working MRI machine, shooting him in the abdomen.
The 40-year-old lawyer and gun-owning advocate said he was not allowed to use the weapon despite verbal and written demands to remove all metal objects before going to the scanner room with his mother. It seems to have continued to have
Leandro Mathias de Novaes took his mother to Laboratorio Cura in São Paulo, Brazil on January 16 for an MRI.
Clinical staff reportedly ordered De Novaes and his mother to keep metal items outside the scanner room, as per normal procedure.
“We would like to emphasize that the Cura team followed standard accident prevention protocols at all units,” a spokesperson for the center told The Telegraph.
“Patients and their companions were properly instructed to enter the examination room and warned against removal of any metal objects.”
The reason for this simple act is very simple. MRI uses magnetic fields of 1.5 to 3.0 Tesla (sometimes higher) to image the human body by orienting the protons of water molecules in roughly the same direction.
A low-energy electromagnetic pulse causes the particles to move and, depending on the surrounding matter, take more or less time to return to their original locations. By interpreting the contrast of this proton motion, we can get a detailed picture of the interior.
To find out how strong a magnetic field is, you can measure a few thousandths of a tesla with a refrigerator magnet. Some powerful rare earth magnets have strengths as high as 1 Tesla.
So 3 to 7 tesla is not rumbling. However, large ferromagnets (objects made of materials that react relatively uniformly in strong magnetic fields) can be sufficiently impacted.
In 2001, an MRI incident caused a child to suffer fatal head injuries when a metal oxygen cylinder detached across the room.
For example, in the case of small objects such as gemstones, strong magnetic fields can conduct currents through the material and conduct enough heat to cause localized burns.
We may never know exactly what happened in the Novaes case. A gun hidden in his waist belt exploded when the machine was activated, inflicting tragic injuries that cost him his life a few weeks later at the Saint Louis Morumbi hospital.
An advocate for gun ownership and with thousands of followers on his social media accounts, it was clear that De Novaes was no stranger to guns. Police records show he had a cellphone license and a registered gun.
I don’t know if he was complacent or forgetful, but it’s an incident that makes you realize the incompatibility of MRI and guns, and it’s nothing new.
According to an article in the American Journal of Roentgenology in 2002, an off-duty police officer visited an outpatient imaging center in New York State, and a patient brought a firearm into the scan room due to miscommunication. bottom.
When he placed the gun on a cabinet a meter away from the machine, it slipped out of his hand, into the scanner, and was thrown at the wall.
Meanwhile, in 2013, while investigating a call to a late-night robbery at an MRI clinic in Illinois, a police officer on duty had his gun removed from his hand and left in the machine. has occurred.
In 2018, a man injured his leg at a Long Island clinic when a firearm in his pocket caught fire as he entered the MRI room.
Although short, this list of dangerous MRI episodes will grow as gun ownership in the United States rises, potentially causing more injuries and deaths. Hundreds of people die each year in the United States from unintentional firearm use.
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