Indian man carrying oxygen tank dies in MRI suite

2018 01 29 23 04 1748 Danger Hazard Exlamation Sign

A visit to see his mother-in-law in a state-run hospital in India turned tragic for an Indian man who was killed when an oxygen cylinder he was carrying pulled him into the bore of an MRI scanner.

Hospital personnel allegedly told Rajesh Maruti Maru to carry the oxygen tank as his relative was wheeled into an MRI suite, according to a January 28 report in The Tribune. As he entered the room, Maru and the canister were sucked into the machine. The man died within two minutes.

The Tribune quoted Maru's brother-in-law as saying there was no staff outside the MRI suite to prevent the oxygen tank from being taken inside, and there were no security guards checking for metallic objects.

The incident sparked protests outside the hospital, and the state government has ordered an investigation of the physician associated with the patient. An article in the Hindustan Times claims that police have arrested the physician, the ward attendant who allegedly told Maru to carry the cylinder, and another attendant working in the suite. The local police department has video footage of the incident and plans to investigate it further.

The Hindustan Times article also said the cylinder fell on Maru's hand and severed his finger. As hospital staff members tried to pull the cylinder away from Maru, the container began leaking; Maru inhaled a "huge amount" of oxygen and lost consciousness. He was rushed to the intensive care unit but died several hours later of a pneumothorax, or collapsed lung, according to an article in the Indian Express.

This is the second high-profile MRI accident in the past several years involving oxygen tanks. In 2014, two hospital employees were injured when they carried a cylinder into the scan room; they were stuck for almost four hours until the magnetic field was deactivated.

The incident led to a recall of MRI scanners in February 2015 to correct safety issues that could develop if scanner software were not updated properly.

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