In Depth

Man dies after being sucked into MRI machine

Employee at Mumbai hospital allegedly told Rajesh Maru to carry metallic oxygen tank into MRI room

A man has died after being sucked into an MRI machine in a freak accident at a Mumbai hospital.

Rajesh Maru, 32, was accompanying an older relative to a scan at Nair Hospital in Mumbai on Saturday when a “ward boy” - a role roughly between porter and nursing assistant - allegedly asked him to take a metal oxygen cylinder into the MRI room.

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans use powerful magnets to create a detailed impression of the inside of the body, meaning that magnetic metals are strictly prohibited from scan rooms.

“When we told him that metallic things aren't allowed inside an MRI room, he said 'sab chalta hai, hamara roz ka kaam hai' (it's fine, we do it every day),” Maru’s brother-in-law told Times Now. The ward boy also allegedly assured the family the machine was switched off.

When Maru approached the MRI scanner, the hand holding the cylinder was pulled into the machine, trapping Maru and causing the oxygen canister to leak.

“He was sucked in and his hand got stuck there,” Maru’s brother-in-law said. “His body swelled up and he couldn't speak.”

Relatives and hospital staff were able to free Maru, but ten minutes after becoming trapped in the machine he was declared dead, Indian Express reports.

A postmortem examination at another hospital found that he had died instantly from pneumothorax, commonly known as collapsed lungs, from exposure to abnormally high levels of oxygen.

The ward boy, along with a doctor and another staff member who were present at the time of the incident have been arrested by police on suspicion of causing death by negligence.

The freak accident “highlights a major issue civic-run hospitals have”, says Indian Express: patients’ relatives are frequently called upon to help overworked staff perform tasks intended for hospital employees.

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