We've already outlined how MRI scans are a billion times safer than the more widely used CT scans, but it would be remiss of us to allow you to remain un-terrified by even one of the instruments in your hospital's arsenal. The thing about MRI scans is that, instead of using radiation, they look inside your body using powerful magnets which, in addition to confusing juggalos, don't play nicely with metal objects. Specifically, anything metallic in the room has a tendency to get sucked straight toward your head, as if your face picked a fight with them.
They call it MRI because no one would pay for a Metallic Death Cannon.
The first MRI fatality occurred in 2001, when a young boy was tragically killed after the incredibly powerful magnetic force generated by the machine grabbed a nearby air canister and sent it flying toward the machine like a freaking guided missile.
Yes, that happened.
And it wasn't the first sign that MRI operational policies might need a quick revision -- the machines have made deadly weapons out of chairs, gurneys and even a loaded gun, which apparently fired haphazardly upon impact. According to Dr. John Gosbee, "Close calls in M.R. centers probably happen once a month."
NASCAR has a better track record than that.
Since 2001, hospitals have implemented some policies meant to protect patients from metal projectiles, possibly involving that plastic prison they used to incarcerate Magneto. But that doesn't help you if you have metal on or in your body when you go into the scan -- pacemakers and surgical clips are obvious dangers, but in one case, a welder was blinded when silver dust particles embedded in his eye became superheated by MRI magnets.
"Thankfully, it's pretty easy to just hose the old patient on out of there and towel everything dry."
Experts warn that you have metal in all sorts of unobvious places, including your nicotine patches and even the ink in your tattoos. But surely MRI devices have some kind of fail-safe, right? Of course! According to this source, in an emergency, a rogue MRI scanner can be made to expel its liquid helium, which cools the magnets, creating a frigid blast that can injure anybody nearby and (in at least one case) even blow the ceiling out of the room.
Anyone who has faced a prolonged hospital stay is familiar with the sensation of having tubes shoved into every orifice. Blood transfusions, catheters, IVs, colostomy bags and feeding tubes all work together to keep you alive and looking like some kind of science-fiction experiment. Unfortunately, it's a little-known fact that connecting all these tubes to their corresponding body holes is kind of like hooking up a surround-sound system to a new TV, only if all of the wires were the same color and shape, and nothing was labeled.
"Wait is this the one for air or gravy?"
Oh, and hooking up the wrong wire to the wrong port can kill a sick person.
For convenience, hospital tubes are almost all one-size-fits-all, whether it's delivering much-needed blood into your veins or injecting delicious gruel into your face. But mix them up, and you have serious problems, as one woman tragically discovered when she died from having liquid chicken pumped into her bloodstream, which has been described as like "pouring concrete down a drain."
Other tube-related mistakes that were not given such colorful analogies include drowning caused by IV drips crossed with oxygen tubes, embolisms caused by air tubes connected to the vein and spinal anesthetic injected in places where you really don't want spinal anesthetic. Wait, isn't anyone labeling these things?
There you go, hospitals. No need to thank us.
It's estimated that 16 percent of all hospital patients experience tube mix-ups, which result in hundreds of deaths each year. Hospitals blame the manufacturers, manufacturers blame the FDA, and the FDA just tells everyone to shut the fuck up and use a marker or something.