MR Imaging Fire

February 1, 2012 | Evaluations & Guidance


Most discussions of the risks involved in magnetic resonance imaging focus on the projectile effect—objects being pulled violently into the bore of the magnet. But another risk was highlighted on December 28, 2011, when a fire broke out in an MR unit at St Luke’s Hospital, Anderson Campus, in Easton, Pennsylvania.

As reported in the Allentown, Pennsylvania, Morning Callin a December 30 article by Tim Darragh titled “MRI Fire Underscores Need for Education and Oversight,” no one was injured as a result of the fire, but the MR unit’s magnet had to be quenched. Quenching the magnet involved a controlled release of liquid helium into the atmosphere. Had the magnet not been quenched, and had the fire reached...

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