The Oregonian reports that a teenager who was burned during an MRI exam because a technician left metal discs on his body from an electrocardiogram has filed a negligence lawsuit against Oregon Health & Science University.
The boy, Aaron Lee, who was 16-years-old in September 2011, was undergoing testing to find the source of his abdominal pains at the medical center when the accident happened.
According to the lawsuit, Lee suffered burns to his chest which required skin grafting. He also suffered post-traumatic stress disorder after the painful experience.
Lee and his mother, Sharon, are asking for $30,000 in economic damages and $2million for pain and suffering.
This is one of several incidents of people being injured during an MRI exam. In 2010, the family of a 6-year-old boy was paid $2.9M in damages after their son was killed when an oxygen tank was brought too close to the MRI’s magnetic field and struck the boy in the head. He died of a fractured skull and injuries from blunt force trauma.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) tests are commonly used to provide about problems that can not be seen using a traditional X-ray, ultrasound or CT because it provides a two-dimensional photo.
An MRI can be used to visualize the brain to look for damage after a motor vehicle accident or to look for tumors or bleeding after a stroke. It can also be used to check on problems with joints and bones as well as other internal problems.
Every year it is estimated that 10 million MRI tests are performed in the United States.
Because MRI machines use strong magnets, it is important that metal objects not come near the machines. The MRI technologist should insure that a patient does not have metal implanted on the body, that all jewelry is removed and the patient have no metal attached to their body. The technician should do a thorough screening of the patient before undergoing the test. Patients should be asked if they have a pacemaker, a cochlear implant, coronary stents and certain type of artificial joints. Patients with these devices are or even with certain types of tattoos are at risk for a burn injury during an MRI.
While MRI injuries are rare, they can and do occur. If you or a loved one is injured during an MRI exam, you may wish to seek the expertise of an attorney with experience in pursing injury claims. The Farber Law Group, a Bellevue personal injury and medical malpractice law firm, has more than 30 years experience representing victims of medical negligence and their families.
Call us today at 1-800-244-9087.