Rajesh Maru, a 32-year-old salesman, died in a freak accident Saturday night while at Mumbai's Nair Hospital to support a relative who had an appointment for a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan.
Under the direction of a careless hospital staff member, Maru had entered the test room with an oxygen tank, which caused him to be sucked into the massive tubular machine.
It should be universally understood, especially in hospitals, that while an MRI machine is in operation, nobody should be in the room with metallic objects—including clothing with metallic fibers, zippers, and jewelry.
The metallic cylinder of Maru's oxygen tank activated the machine's magnetic force, prompting the powerful suction that pulled him inside, along with the tank that should never have been allowed in the examination room.
His family claims the fatal incident is the result of huge negligence. A ward attendant allegedly told Maru it was fine to enter the room, but he wasn't aware that the MRI machine was activated.
The crucial component of an MRI machine is the superconducting magnet, which is capable of creating a large magnetic field. Its magnetic strength is measured in units called tesla or gauss (1 tesla = 10,000 gauss).
Magnets used in current models of MRI machines are capable of producing a magnetic field of 0.5-tesla to 2.0-tesla, or 5,000 to 20,000 gauss. Considering the earth's magnetic field is measured at 0.5 gauss, the machine used in radiology to form scans of the anatomy are powerful and potentially deadly without taking proper precautions.
Maru's brother-in-law, Harish Solanki, whose mother was the patient, told NDTV:
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). He also said that the machine was switched off. The doctor as well as the technician didn't say anything.
After being pulled into the machine by the powerful magnetic force, Maru's hand got caught inside the machine that triggered his tank's oxygen leak, which in liquid form is extremely poisonous. After hospital personnel pried his bloodied and swollen body out, Maru died ten minutes later.
Solantki told News 18:
He went there to visit my ailing mother, but we did not know he would meet such a fate. We all are in shock. A ward boy told him to carry an oxygen cylinder with him to MRI room which is prohibited. It all happened because of the carelessness of hospital's doctors and administration.
Despite the hospital claiming a staff member advised against Maru bringing in the oxygen tank, law enforcement filed charges against Dr. Siddhant Shah, ward boy Vitthal Chavan, and ward attendant Sunita Surve for negligence.
According to NDTB, "Dr Siddhant Shah and ward boy Vitthal Chavan have been arrested."