Metal detector in Mumbai hospital’s MRI room was not functional, unit had piped oxygen: BMC | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Metal detector in Mumbai hospital’s MRI room was not functional, unit had piped oxygen: BMC

mumbai Updated: Feb 01, 2018 09:56 IST
Sadaguru Pandit
Sadaguru Pandit
Hindustan Times
MRI,Mumbai,Nair hospital

An official from the health department of the BMC, which runs the hospital, said the device on the door is meant to stop patients and staff from taking metal objects into the room.(FILE)

The metal detector of the MRI unit at BYL Nair Hospital in Mumbai Central, where a man was sucked into the MRI machine with an oxygen cylinder on Saturday, was not functional, according to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials. Also, the radiologists at the hospital said the unit had piped oxygen supply, raising questions over the need to carry oxygen cylinder inside.

An official from the health department of the BMC, which runs the hospital, said the device on the door is meant to stop patients and staff from taking metal objects into the room. Metal objects, including jewellery and coins, should be left outside the MRI room as they can interfere with the magnetic field of the MRI unit. Even more dangerous, these objects can become projectiles as the MRI machine can pull them into it.

On Saturday evening, Maru, who was accompanying an elderly relative into the room, died after he went flying across the room with the cylinder owing to the magnetic field of the machine. According to his family, a ward boy asked them to get the cylinder into the MRI room, “insisting” the patient may need it. However, hospital staff, privy to CCTV footage of the incident, said the footage clearly shows the ward boy had no role to play in the incident.

“It’s clearly seen that Maru voluntarily carried the cylinder inside the room. But it is obvious that poor staff members will be made scapegoats,” said an administrative officer of the hospital.

After a similar incident at a Navi Mumbai Based cancer facility -- Advance Center for Treatment Research and Education (ACTRE) -- of Tata Memorial hospital in 2014, the hospital had started a three-layer screening process for patients and staff members at the facility. While two layers ensured metal detection, an additional security measure required biometric clearance, so only authorised personnel entered the room. Following this, all municipal hospitals installed metal detectors at the entrances of MRI rooms.

Idez Kundan, assistant municipal commissioner, said the metal detector was part of the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for MRI rooms. “We already have the system, but it wasn’t functioning. Considering the extensive burden of patients and relatives, we are focusing on decentralising the system and opening new MRI centres at periphery hospitals, so the dependence on tertiary care unit decreases and the SOPs are strictly followed,” said Kundan.

“Our machines are compatible with oxygen output facility owing to which we don’t need an oxygen cylinder inside the room. Non-metallic pipe connections are enabled to make sure oxygen is provided to the patient if he needs it on an emergency basis,” said a top radiologist from BYL Nair Hospital.

Dr Ramesh Bharmal, dean of Nair Hospital, said, “There is an inquiry going on to find out the reasons and lapses of the incident. There is no use drawing conclusions because even we are clueless about why the cylinder was taken inside.”

First Published: Feb 01, 2018 09:56 IST