A 13-year-old French boy lost his thumb during a routine MRI examination of the pancreas, according to a report in the Courrier Picard newspaper.
An apparent error at the CHU hospital in Amiens, France, left patient Florian Barreiros in the scanner with a monitoring device attached to his thumb, which the report said was "burned through to the bone."
The boy was under anesthesia during the scan and did not notice the burning until it was too late, when he started screaming in pain, according to his mother. She claims that the medical staff failed to inform her of the accident, and that her son, who has Down syndrome, spent several tortured hours screaming in the emergency room, according to the article published on 4 August.
"I guess they forgot something on the finger that was not compatible with MRI," a senior French radiologist told AuntMinnieEurope.com. "August is a favorable period for problems. Regular workers are on vacation and interim, inexperienced people are sometimes used."
The radiologist also added this is just a thought, and no proof is available.
"It's very difficult for the Barreiros family. Florian has a big problem with his pancreas and doctors cannot intervene because the finger requires several operations," noted the author of the article, David Vandevoorde, in an email to AuntMinnieEurope.com. "The MRI unit was not overwhelmed, unlike other services. The CHU Amiens-Picardie has finished its reconstruction and is ultramodern, but it has kept a lot of problems: debt and economic savings for the staff."
He believes a serious mistake was made, and this could have been prevented by better care protocols.
"The hospital will never say this to the press!" Vandevoorde added. "This bad communication is also because of the absence of a director since September."
The mother reportedly told a local prosecutor about the incident after she was allegedly threatened by medical staff when she said she would share the story with the press.
MRI burns can occur when a closed-loop conduction system is created due to a patient's skin coming in contact with a wire or metal, according to the article.