> Seriously -- did you guys hear about a case back east somewhere,
> New York state, iirc, where a tech had inadvertently left an
> oxygen cylinder in the room, and when the MRI was turned on, it
> got sucked right into the core, killing the poor patient (a
> young boy) instantly.

Unless MRI technology has changed significantly in the last 7-8 years, I 
find this a bit hard to swallow. An MRI uses a huge, powerful magnetic 
field, on the order of 1-2 Tesla. This field is static and "always on". 
In fact, there is (or at least, there used to be) a big red "Quench" 
button in the MRI room, used to shut off the magnet. A surefire way to 
experience a sudden job change was to press the button without 
sufficient cause. Anyhow, performing the MRI involved introducing 
relatively small changes to this huge magnetic field (using another coil 
or coils) at varying frequencies. So "turning on the MRI" should not 
result in any perceptible change in the magnetic field, which is pretty 
constant as far as things like keys and oxygen tanks go. Ronn can 
explain more, and I'm sure he'll correct me if I'm wrong.

> I didn't think I could have an MRI because my sternum
> (breastbone) looks like the inside of a Canadian Tire store
> (or Home Depot or whatever your hardware chains are called)
> -- it's all wired together with titanium wire. Plus the
> sleeve of my heart valve is made out of silver, and the
> valve posts are also titanium. The rest is kevlar and
> dacron, of all things.  But anyway, lotsa metal.

As far as I know, only ferromagnetic materials pose a danger. I don't 
think either titanium or silver is ferromagnetic, though I could be 
wrong. And as you point out, the techs can mathematically correct for 
the presence of metal, which will introduce distortions whether or not 
it's ferromagnetic.


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