Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Spontaneous Discharge of a Firearm in an MR Imaging Environment
American Journal of Roentgenology ^ | 6 November, 2001 | Anton Oscar Beitia1, Steven P. Meyers, Emanuel Kanal and William Bartell

Posted on 07/11/2008 4:23:55 AM PDT by marktwain

An incident recently occurred at an outpatient imaging center in western New York State, in which a firearm spontaneously discharged in a 1.5-T MR imaging environment with active shielding. To our knowledge, this is the first documented case of such an occurrence.

------cut---------

An off-duty police officer went to an outpatient imaging center (not affiliated with our institution) in western New York State to have an MR imaging examination. The facility housed a 1.5-T MR unit (Signa; General Electric Medical Systems, Milwaukee, WI) with active shielding. The officer was carrying a model 1991 A-1 compact.45 caliber semiautomatic pistol (Colt's Manufacturing, Hartford, CT).

The officer notified the technologist that he was carrying the weapon before entering the MR dressing room. The technologist told the officer to take the gun with him. The technologist intended to meet the officer in the MR patient waiting area before the examination and secure the weapon in that room, where he felt it would be safe. However, the officer apparently misunderstood and took the gun into the MR suite. The technologist was entering the officer's personal data into the computer and did not see him entering the MR suite.

Once the officer was inside the MR suite, the gun was pulled from his hand as he attempted to place the gun on top of a cabinet 3 ft (0.9 m) away from the magnet bore. The gun was immediately pulled into the bore, where it struck the left side and spontaneously discharged a round into the wall of the room at the rear of the magnet. Fortunately, no one was injured.

---------cut----------

The weapon's thumb safety was reportedly engaged when the gun discharged.

(Excerpt) Read more at ajronline.org ...


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; Technical
KEYWORDS: bang; banglist; discharge; gun; healthcare; mri
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-96 next last
Just an interesting technical note that I had not seen before. I thought it would be of interest to the banglist.
1 posted on 07/11/2008 4:23:57 AM PDT by marktwain
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: marktwain

Sh!t happens.....


2 posted on 07/11/2008 4:28:34 AM PDT by TexasRedeye (Eschew obfuscation)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marktwain

A number of years ago a not-so-bright patient transporter brought a patient on a stretcher into the MRI suite, oxygen tank in tow. The tank went flying missing the patient’s head by millimeters, crashing into the magnet, detroying the plastic housing and severing some electrical connections. It cost a pretty penny to repair, and we were down for weeks.


3 posted on 07/11/2008 4:30:25 AM PDT by SC DOC
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: IncPen

strange ping


4 posted on 07/11/2008 4:30:58 AM PDT by Nailbiter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: marktwain

Sounds like the officer is not smart enough to carry a weapon.


5 posted on 07/11/2008 4:35:07 AM PDT by caver (Yes, I did crawl out of a hole in the ground.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marktwain

Phew! Never would happen to me. I carry a Glock...nyuk,nyuk,nyuk. OK, an admittedly cheap shot at all you 1911 guys. Sorry.


6 posted on 07/11/2008 4:42:59 AM PDT by PowderMonkey (Will Work for Ammo)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marktwain

Just out of curiosity, why aren’t there metal detectors set up near the entrances to these machines? Just as a precaution should someone forget.

Seems like a common sense measure to prevent such items from getting close enough to the magnetic field to be a threat.


7 posted on 07/11/2008 4:47:59 AM PDT by Dr.Zoidberg ("Shut the hell up, New York Times, you sanctimonious whining jerks!" - Craig Ferguson)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SC DOC
A number of years ago a not-so-bright patient transporter brought a patient on a stretcher into the MRI suite, oxygen tank in tow. The tank went flying missing the patient’s head by millimeters, ..... It cost a pretty penny to repair, and we were down for weeks.

Your hospital was lucky.

When you're not lucky ....

In 2001, Michael Colombini, 6, was killed while undergoing an MRI when an oxygen tank flew out of the hands of an anesthesiologist toward the machine, hitting him in the head. ............ In 2003, a New Mexico woman sued a Los Alamos hospital, claiming the magnetic pull of an MRI caused an oxygen tank to hit her in the back.

8 posted on 07/11/2008 4:52:33 AM PDT by Polybius
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: marktwain

I went in for my first MRI, many years ago, having never heard of MRI before, wearing steel toed work boots. the technician told me to empty my pockets and pretty much did not ask me if I had any metal on me.

I went in feet first and of course the inevitable happened, as I approached the loop my feet shot up and locked to the roof of the MRI-

at that point the tech untied my shoes and my feet slipped out. he then spent quite a while removing my shoes from the MRI machine.


9 posted on 07/11/2008 4:52:42 AM PDT by Vaquero (" an armed society is a polite society" Heinlein "MOLON LABE!" Leonidas of Sparta)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marktwain
I can't even remember how many MRI's I have gotten. I'm asked at least 5x if there is any metal on or in my body each scan.

Years ago I worked in metal shops and that is a big concern. Seems people with metal splinters in their eyes make a big mess in there sometimes.

10 posted on 07/11/2008 4:53:36 AM PDT by BallyBill (Serial Hit-N-Run poster)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PowderMonkey

enjoy your big fat mostly plastic tinker toy.

I will continue to cherish my STEEL 1943 vintage Remington Rand 1911A1, my model 19 S&W, my 2 Ruger Vaqueros, my Colt Mustang, my 2 S&W vintage 1890’s break tops, my Ruger Redhawk, Ruger Mk II... and a plethora of cap and ball replicas and originals.


11 posted on 07/11/2008 4:59:24 AM PDT by Vaquero (" an armed society is a polite society" Heinlein "MOLON LABE!" Leonidas of Sparta)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: marktwain

stupid idiiot cop and stupid idiot medical crew, any chance of residual magnetism would grab anything metallic, especially that close to the machine!


12 posted on 07/11/2008 5:02:50 AM PDT by RaceBannon (Innocent until proven guilty; The Pendleton 8: We are not going down without a fight)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Vaquero

The 1991A1 is not a toy, it is a full size .45, almost identical to the 1911


13 posted on 07/11/2008 5:04:36 AM PDT by RaceBannon (Innocent until proven guilty; The Pendleton 8: We are not going down without a fight)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Vaquero

My fathers 1940’s vintage 1911 was made by the Singer sewing machine company.


14 posted on 07/11/2008 5:04:52 AM PDT by WayneS (Respect the 2nd Amendment; Repeal the 16th)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: RaceBannon

He was making reference to a Glock.


15 posted on 07/11/2008 5:05:27 AM PDT by WayneS (Respect the 2nd Amendment; Repeal the 16th)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: marktwain

A 1911 should not fire unless the thumb safety is off and the grip safety depressed prior to squeezing the trigger. Unless the MRI unit released these safeties, or the gun was in an unsafe condition; either worn parts or kept unlocked with the hammer down on a chambered round, or a combination of both, I don’t see how this could happen.


16 posted on 07/11/2008 5:05:48 AM PDT by P8riot (I carry a gun because I can't carry a cop.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SC DOC
A number of years ago a not-so-bright patient transporter brought a patient on a stretcher into the MRI suite, oxygen tank in tow. The tank went flying missing the patient’s head by millimeters, crashing into the magnet, detroying the plastic housing and severing some electrical connections. It cost a pretty penny to repair, and we were down for weeks.

Something similar happened at a hospital in Valhalla, NY (Westchester county) some years ago, but it didn't miss, killing the patient.

Mark

17 posted on 07/11/2008 5:06:06 AM PDT by MarkL (Al Gore: The Greenhouse Gasbag! (heard on Bob Brinker's Money Talk))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Dr.Zoidberg
Just out of curiosity, why aren’t there metal detectors set up near the entrances to these machines? Just as a precaution should someone forget.

Seems like a common sense measure to prevent such items from getting close enough to the magnetic field to be a threat.

I believe that metal detectors work by using magnetic fields: These things put out such overwhelming fields, my guess is that it would be useless anywhere nearby. I've seen cases where the monitor screens of the office computers used by the staff were skewed, and this is a good distance from the imaging hardware and behind well shielded walls.

Mark

18 posted on 07/11/2008 5:09:14 AM PDT by MarkL (Al Gore: The Greenhouse Gasbag! (heard on Bob Brinker's Money Talk))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: marktwain

n 2001, Michael Colombini, 6, was killed while undergoing an MRI when an oxygen tank flew out of the hands of an anesthesiologist toward the machine, hitting him in the head.

In 2003, a New Mexico woman sued a Los Alamos hospital, claiming the magnetic pull of an MRI caused an oxygen tank to hit her in the back.

In 1992, a 74-year-old woman hemorrhaged and died after an aneurysm clip in her brain shifted while she was on a table preparing for an MRI.

from article:MRI Scanner Accidents on the Rise
http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=1057960&page=1


19 posted on 07/11/2008 5:09:58 AM PDT by DogBarkTree (The correct word isn't "immigrant" when what they are doing is "invading".)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: WayneS
My fathers 1940s vintage 1911 was made by the Singer sewing machine company.

You probably know that a Singer-manufactured 1911 is worth a lot of money. Singer only made a few hundred 1911s.

20 posted on 07/11/2008 5:11:27 AM PDT by Wilhelm Tell (True or False? This is not a tag line.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: PowderMonkey
I carry a Glock...

Ya know...if he had a Macintosh he wouldn't have this problem.

21 posted on 07/11/2008 5:12:08 AM PDT by laotzu
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: P8riot

A 1911 should not fire unless the thumb safety is off and the grip safety depressed prior to squeezing the trigger. Unless the MRI unit released these safeties, or the gun was in an unsafe condition; either worn parts or kept unlocked with the hammer down on a chambered round, or a combination of both, I don’t see how this could happen.

I think that inertia could move the firing pin forward with enough force if the gun impacted muzzle first. Anyone else want to weigh in on this? I know I’m going to check out my
1911 when I get home and see if this is possible. (No, I’m not going to throw it against the wall to find out!)


22 posted on 07/11/2008 5:15:41 AM PDT by CrazyIvan (If you read only one book this year, read "Stolen Valor".)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: P8riot; marktwain
I also smell a rat.

There's a grip safety AND a thumb safety. The grip safety, IIRC, is plastic or aluminum. I don't see how the MRI could simultaneously release the grip AND the thumb safety, AND cause the firing pin to move forward. All these moving parts are in different places and move in different directions . . . .

My guess is that either he had the hammer down on a round (very unsafe and unnecessary) and the hammer struck the primer when the pistol hit the wall of the MRI, or he just had an AD while fumbling with his pistol and is blaming it on the MRI.

I don't have my 1911A1 on me, so I don't remember if it has a hammer block like my Sig or my little Walther. But I think having the hammer down would bypass it even if it did have one.

23 posted on 07/11/2008 5:16:33 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: marktwain

24 posted on 07/11/2008 5:17:14 AM PDT by Dumpster Baby ( They told me that using the download page to download something was not something they anticipated)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Vaquero
enjoy your big fat mostly plastic tinker toy.

I'm sure he does. Beware the man who only has one gun. He probably knows how to use it.

25 posted on 07/11/2008 5:19:10 AM PDT by Shooter 2.5 (NRA - Vote against the dem party)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: RaceBannon

i was talking about PowderMonkey Glock from post 6.


26 posted on 07/11/2008 5:22:27 AM PDT by Vaquero (" an armed society is a polite society" Heinlein "MOLON LABE!" Leonidas of Sparta)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: CrazyIvan

Yeah, I read the complete story AFTER I posted (a bad habit). It seems the magnetic field disengaged the firing pin block and allowed the firing pin to strike the primer discharging the weapon.


27 posted on 07/11/2008 5:24:22 AM PDT by P8riot (I carry a gun because I can't carry a cop.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: AnAmericanMother

This is not the fault of the officer. I have worked
in MRI environments-it is the technicians/nurses responsibility to deal with “prepping” the patient. Then
again, it could be that the tech was intimidated by the
big, bad gun that they weren’t sure what to do.

I don’t care how many safeties, ect are on a gun. When you have a gun vs an mri the mri will win everytime. Guns were not designed to withstand an mri environment.


28 posted on 07/11/2008 5:24:23 AM PDT by murrie (For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son..........)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: BallyBill
I've had several MRI's as well. The place I went to ensures that you aren't bringing any metal anywhere near the MRI room. You're wearing nothing but your scivies & a hospital gown . Anything you wore or brought in with you is locked in a dressing room well out of the vicinity of the MRI room.

I had had a piece of rust removed from my eye 15 years prior, they insisted on checking my eye with some sort of scope before allowing me to proceed w/ the MRI.

29 posted on 07/11/2008 5:24:25 AM PDT by csvset
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: marktwain

OK, admittedly one of the few incidents where a handgun got up on its own and tried to shoot somebody. ;-)


30 posted on 07/11/2008 5:26:02 AM PDT by Jonah Hex ("Never underestimate the hungover side of the Force.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AnAmericanMother

1911s don’t have hammer blocks. Some, like this one, have firing pin blocks that don’t allow the pin to travel unless they are moved out of the way by the action of the grip safety (none of mine do and I have over two dozen 1911s). After reading the story it appears that the magnetic field actuated the firing pin block and allowed the firing pin to set off the round, either through the action of the magnetic field or the impact of the weapon against the tube.


31 posted on 07/11/2008 5:29:37 AM PDT by P8riot (I carry a gun because I can't carry a cop.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: P8riot
Now what are the percentages on that shot, do you suppose?

What do folks with stainless steel pins in their hands (like me) do? My knee injury predated MRIs.

I've heard you can get a CAT scan on 75% power.

32 posted on 07/11/2008 5:30:26 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: murrie

I guess steel bridgework and pins or screws in your bones are a no-go, then?


33 posted on 07/11/2008 5:31:36 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: marktwain
I call it a BS story.

ALL Colt 1991 1911's have the Series 80 firing pin safety pictured in red below.

The firearm cannot fire unless the trigger is pulled, the grip safety engaged to ALLOW the trigger to move, and the manual safety off.

Colt went through a HUGE liability case and this 'modification' to the design was the result.

34 posted on 07/11/2008 5:33:01 AM PDT by Pistolshot (When you let what you are define who you are, you create divisiveness.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: caver
Sounds like the officer is not smart enough to carry a weapon.

I respectfully disagree.

The officer notified the technologist that he was carrying the weapon before entering the MR dressing room. The technologist told the officer to take the gun with him.

Unless you have experience with high-gauss fields / equipment, you are unlikely to appreciate their reach and power. The Officer informed the proper person who 'assumed' the Officer understood what was not clearly communicated. Fortunately only property damage and a good object lesson about assumptions!

35 posted on 07/11/2008 5:35:23 AM PDT by SES1066 (Cycling to conserve, Conservative to save, Saving to Retire, will Retire to Cycle.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Pistolshot
Is that a Solidworks drawing?
36 posted on 07/11/2008 5:35:34 AM PDT by CrazyIvan (If you read only one book this year, read "Stolen Valor".)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: marktwain

Regardless of the firearm mechanics, safety on or off, an internal spark, caused by eddy currents generated by flying metal through that strong of a magnetic field and igniting the gunpowder within the round would cause me concern. Nothing explosive, especially surrounded by any type of conductor, should be near an MRI.


37 posted on 07/11/2008 5:37:53 AM PDT by mikey_hates_everything
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marktwain

I’ve got a stent and a titanium/ceramic aortic valve. Both supposed to be non-magnetic.

Not sure if that prevents my having an MRI or not.

I’ve worked in the vicinity of machines but never closer than approx 15’-20’.


38 posted on 07/11/2008 5:38:52 AM PDT by Vinnie (You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Jihads You)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SES1066
Magnets are awe-inspiring things. I have some neodymium magnets only an inch long that are so powerful they will cause injury if your skin happens to come between them. I had some six inches in diameter which would distort a TV or computer monitor from 10 feet away. They would also erase videotapes, floppies or credit cards in the room. I finally gave them away as being too dangerous.

I can only imagine 1.5 teragauss.

39 posted on 07/11/2008 5:43:26 AM PDT by Sender (Never lose your ignorance; you can never regain it!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: CrazyIvan
Inertia will indeed cause discharges in a fall.

The original design of the 1911 has a pin susceptible to it, but some designs today do not. The force needed to actually do that will vary based on the weight of the pin and the forces of any (if present) springs it has to overcome to do so.

40 posted on 07/11/2008 5:45:59 AM PDT by kAcknor ("A pistol! Are you expecting trouble sir?" "No ma'am, were I expecting trouble I'd have a rifle.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Vinnie

I’m walking around with two Sirolimus-eluting coronary stents manufactured by Cordis. Great product. “Takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’!” Ahem...definately check with the manufacturer and your heart doc to make sure. Mine says it’s safe around MRI units with a mag strength of 3 Tesla or less, but I’m not going near the infernal thing without first checking with my doc. Don’t want the stents to do a replay of the clawing alien chest-burst scene.


41 posted on 07/11/2008 5:50:48 AM PDT by PowderMonkey (Will Work for Ammo)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: WayneS

IIRC the Singers are the most valuable vintage 1911s around. I don’t know much about 1911s (just don’t work for me - tried a Kimber and it just didnt fit), but I think that there were only about 500 Singers made.


42 posted on 07/11/2008 5:53:04 AM PDT by freedomlover (Make sure you're in love - before you move in the heavy stuff)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: caver
Kinda like this one in Austin.

[FR thread] Moms, kids find officer's loaded gun in South Austin park

43 posted on 07/11/2008 5:57:34 AM PDT by Arrowhead1952 (A vote for any Democrat from BO on down the ticket is a vote for $10 a gallon gas.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Shooter 2.5
1 gun is 0 guns. 2 is 1. When your life relies on it, ALWAYS have a spare.

One gun is nice, but I like carrying the "right tool for the job" and not all jobs are equal.

44 posted on 07/11/2008 6:01:20 AM PDT by Dead Corpse (What would a free man do?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: marktwain
The officer notified the technologist that he was carrying the weapon before entering the MR dressing room. The technologist told the officer to take the gun with him.

Another example of the ongoing degradation of English language skills by our so-called educational system. The correct term for someone who operates technical equipment is "technician". Sheesh...

45 posted on 07/11/2008 6:03:43 AM PDT by tarheelswamprat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Wilhelm Tell

Yes we do.

He does not use that one for day to day carry.


46 posted on 07/11/2008 6:06:24 AM PDT by WayneS (And now I shall return to my hovel and cling to my guns ... until it is time to go to Church)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: WayneS

“My fathers 1940’s vintage 1911 was made by the Singer sewing machine company.”

That thing is probably worth a fortune. The Singers are the most rare as I understand. I seen one listed in SGN that went for over $80,000 at auction.


47 posted on 07/11/2008 6:10:45 AM PDT by caver (Yes, I did crawl out of a hole in the ground.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: AnAmericanMother

I am carrying a fair amount of steel in my lower body (ex-motorcycle road racer).

I have had several MRIs with the steel in place.

The technicians take great care to make sure NOT to do the MRI on the actual body part with the steel in it (i.e. I go in head first and they do not let my legs actually go into the machine). But, I THINK the fact that everything is stainless steel (non-magnetic) provides a fair level of protection.

IN any case, I have never had a plate or screw come flying out through my flesh.


48 posted on 07/11/2008 6:12:32 AM PDT by WayneS (Respect the 2nd Amendment; Repeal the 16th)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: SES1066

It still sounds like the cop was not listening to the technologist. He screwed up.


49 posted on 07/11/2008 6:13:39 AM PDT by caver (Yes, I did crawl out of a hole in the ground.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: caver

I think you should crawl back into your hole. How could the officer have known?


50 posted on 07/11/2008 6:19:26 AM PDT by sevinufnine (Sevin - "If we do not fight when we know we can win, we'll have to fight when we know we will loose")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-96 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson