Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner is one of the best inventions in medical history. Using powerful magnetic field the scanner makes it possible to get 2D or 3D images of human body for medical examination. CT scans and X-rays uses ionizing radiation but MRI scanner use harmless magnet fields.

Modern high field clinical MRI scanner. (3T Ac...
Modern high field clinical MRI scanner. (3T Achieva, the product of Philips at Best, the Netherlands.) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Though harmless MRI scanner does have certain hazards, scanner uses cryogenic liquid helium for super conducting properties of electro-magnetic coils inside. In case if there is a rapid boiling of liquid helium to gas, known as quench effect, there is a possibility of helium escaping to scanner room and depleting oxygen. To avoid this there is a quench pipe and venting system. High energy magnet fields will attract any Ferro metallic object to it causing bodily harm to personal nearby or to patients who has implants.

Helium (Photo credit: Beige Alert)

Another bad part of MRI Scanner is the claustrophobic effect. I remember lying in a scanner for almost 40 minutes or so. I felt working in ships’ tunnels or cofferdams were better 😉 Acoustic noise produced by the coils was adding to the claustrophobia. I have those images still in my file, looks like Charles Darwin’s sketches trying to find missing link.

I had gone to MRI to check which nerve is casing acute meralgia paresthetica which had made me to walk limping as if I am wearing a prosthetic which has senses and acute pain. MRI, EMG , X-rays all failed to find whats the cause so no remedy. Then I  regained my walking back without pain by braving and challenging the meralgia paresthetica. What I did? nothing much, just bought a mountain bicycle and hit on the road. Visit my cycling page

But at the end MRI Scanner is indeed one of the modern medical world’s best invention.

A dewar in which liquid helium is stored.
A dewar in which liquid helium is stored. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

MRI scanner transported as cargo will come under the purview of IMDG code if it contains refrigerated liquefied helium gas. MRI Scanners with liquefied helium has to be consigned under UN 1963, HELIUM, REFRIGERATED LIQUID, Class 2.2. National competent authority may have to authorize the transport.

Click here to see product details of MRI helium

Do not waste helium in party balloons as we are running out of it. Click here to read news about Helium stock running low

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