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Shocking video shows why metal isn’t allowed in an MRI scanner

Kit Roberts

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| Last updated 

Shocking video shows why metal isn’t allowed in an MRI scanner

Featured Image Credit: YouTube/Julie S.

Anyone who has ever had an MRI scan will be familiar of the sensation of being pushed into an enormous polo, and the incessant whirring and clunking as you stay perfectly still.

But before you go in, it's essential that you surrender any and all metal from your person.

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To not do so could be pretty disastrous, as one video makes it abundantly clear why.

The video shows a switched on MRI scanner, into which someone then throws a variety of metal objects, including a metal chair.

Suffice to say the objects shoot out of their hands like a robot-rat up a drainpipe, and are then more or less impossible to extract while the machine is switched on.

But why is this?

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Well, you can probably find a clue in the initials we use for MRI. As much as we might like it to, the 'M' in 'MRI' does not in fact stand for 'Magic' but for 'Magnetic'.

This is 'Magnetic Resonance Imaging', and is a useful way to form a picture of the organs inside the body, including the brain.

MRIs are a useful imaging tool. Credit: Willie B. Thomas / Getty
MRIs are a useful imaging tool. Credit: Willie B. Thomas / Getty

It's different from an x-ray in that it can create a more detailed picture of soft tissues, whereas x-rays are better for imaging bones.

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MRI scans do this by using strong magnetic fields which they can use to create the images and, hopefully, give an all clear on a scan.

But the key word there is 'magnetic'. So, anything metal would be drawn to the sides of the machine.

This is fine if you are standing outside of it at a safe distance to show off the effect of it, but it's not so fine if it's say, a ring, or a bracelet, or worse still a piercing.

One person took to the comments to describe their own experience.

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You should take out all metal for an MRI. Credit: Raimund Koch / Getty
You should take out all metal for an MRI. Credit: Raimund Koch / Getty

They wrote: I had to get an MRI done recently and they informed me I had to remove my piercings. Just for my own curiosity I asked what would happen if I kept them in.

"The technician kindly told me 'at best, they’d heat up really bad and burn. At worst they’d be ripped out of your face'."

Ouch.

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But one particularly horrifying incident involved a patient who did not disclose that they were, erm, 'wearing', a butt plug containing metal prior to having an MRI scan.

An FDA report on the incident read: "The patient stated that she felt nauseous, was in pain, and felt like she was going to pass out."

Nope. Just, nope.

Topics: News, Health, World News, Science, Technology

Kit Roberts
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