A routine MRI scan turned into a nightmare at a California medical facility in February, and the investigation into the incident was recently completed.
It happened at the Kaiser Permanente Redwood City Medical Center when screams rang out, KTVU reported Friday.
In a nearby room, an MRI machine’s magnetic force was pulling a hospital bed closer when a nurse became trapped in the middle, according to investigating officials with Cal/OSHA.
“I was getting pushed by the bed,” nurse Ainah Cervantes explained during an interview with investigators, noting she had to essentially run backwards or risk being smashed.
The Mayo Clinic’s website describes magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as a “medical imaging technique that uses a magnetic field and computer-generated radio waves to create detailed images of the organs and tissues in your body.”
“Most MRI machines are large, tube-shaped magnets. When you lie inside an MRI machine, the magnetic field inside works with radio waves and hydrogen atoms in your body to create cross-sectional images — like slices in a loaf of bread,” the site reads.
Per the KTVU report, the nurse suffered a laceration and surgeons removed a pair of embedded screws from her body. However, the patient did not suffer any injuries despite falling out of the bed.
The KTVU report continued:
Regulators say the systemic problems at the facility started with the nurse and patient care tech left unsupervised without MRI personnel. No one, including the patient, was ever screened. The door to the magnetic room was left open. And the safety alarm system never sounded.
Incident investigation records show some required safety training never happened for some employees and the facility also failed to test the door alarm annually as recommended.
Now, Kaiser is facing an $18,000 fine regarding the incident.
“I always knew these machines were dangerous. Lack of training can kill,” one social media user commented on the KTVU story.
Another incident involving an MRI machine happened in Brazil at the beginning of 2023, according to WION News.
The report said a handgun was triggered because of the machine and shot its owner in the stomach.
“The man died after battling for his life few weeks later. It is not known whether the man neglected safety instruction or forgot to put his gun away before he approached the MRI machine,” the outlet reported.
“Leandro Mathias de Novaes (40), the deceased, was a lawyer and vocal supporter of gun rights. He had taken his mother to Laboratorio Cura in São Paulo, Brazil, for an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan on January 16,” the article read, adding staff members had reportedly told the two individuals to leave anything metal outside the room.