MRI Code Safety


1. The magnet does NOT "turn off”. It is ALWAYS ON generating a magnetic field which will pull anything ferromagnetic (ex: iron, steel, nickel) into the magnet. This can trap, injure, or even kill a patient or medical personnel.

2. If a code occurs in the MRI Scanner the FIRST PRIOROTY is MOVE THE PATIENT to the designated resuscitation area.

3. If a patient is trapped in the scanner by a foreign metal object (Ex: crash cart, stretcher) the magnet can be quenched by pressing the large red button on the MRI wall.

4. In the event of a quench: the room can fill with helium. Although gaseous helium is lighter than air and will float to the top of the room, large quantities can completely displace oxygen from the entire room and if inhaled may cause loss of consciousness within 10 seconds with the possibility of asphyxia and death. Patients and staff must be evacuated immediately from the scanner room if a quench occurs.

5. To restore a magnet after a quench costs over $100,000.

A 6-year-old boy died after undergoing an MRI exam at a New York-area hospital when the machine's powerful magnetic field jerked a metal oxygen tank across the room, crushing the child's head. – July 2001

Rajesh Maru, 32, had entered an MRI testing room at the hospital holding a cylinder of oxygen. Maru died within minutes, his hand that was holding the oxygen tank trapped by the machine. He was freed and taken to the emergency room in 10 minutes but pronounced dead on arrival. Three people— a doctor,and two hospital assistants— have been arrested on suspicion of negligence. – January 2018