An absurd case has come to light where a 40-year-old man carried a concealed firearm into an MRI scan. The man had a tragic end as he died from the very loaded gun he kept on his person.
The man was a lawyer named Leandro Mathias de Novaes who accompanied his mother to an appointment at Laboratorio Cura, Brazil, while carrying a concealed gun under his waistband, according to IFLScience.
“Both the patient and [her] companion were properly instructed regarding the procedures for accessing the examination room and warned about the removal of any and all metallic objects,” Laboratorio Cura said in a statement, according to the Miami Herald.
“The firearm was not mentioned by the companion, who entered the examination room with the object by his decision,” the hospital further said.
MRI machines create strong magnetic fields and radio waves that target hydrogen nuclei (protons) in water. As a result, the protons’ axes align.
“This uniform alignment creates a magnetic vector oriented along the axis of the MRI scanner,” science editor Abi Berger explained in the BMJ.
“When additional energy (in the form of a radio wave) is added to the magnetic field, the magnetic vector is deflected. The radio wave frequency […] that causes the hydrogen nuclei to resonate is dependent on the element sought (hydrogen in this case) and the strength of the magnetic field,” Berger continued.
“When the radiofrequency source is switched off the magnetic vector returns to its resting state, and this causes a signal (also a radio wave) to be emitted. It is this signal which is used to create the MR images,” Berger further said.
The mechanism works well for imaging cartilage and muscles in the body but can cause mayhem when one carries any loose metal or loaded weapon.
The advocate’s weapon was learned to have been pulled out of his waistband by the machine, before going off into his stomach. While de Novaes had a license to carry the weapon, it is unclear why he did not get rid of it before entering the machine.
The incident took place on Feb. 6. Before his demise, the lawyer reportedly posted pro-gun content to his TikTok channel, according to the New York Post.
Notwithstanding this case, MRI is an extremely useful tool that is used to diagnose and detect a myriad of problems in the body. In a recent study, clear biomarkers were found in the MRI scans of children diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
“We found changes in almost all the regions of the brain we investigated,” study co-author Huang Lin said. “The pervasiveness throughout the whole brain was surprising since many prior studies have identified changes in selective regions of the brain.”