Indian technician awarded compensation after accident

A former employee of Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai, India, has received compensation from GE Healthcare more than two years after being seriously injured in an MRI accident.

Technician Swami Ramaiah was caught between an MRI scanner and a fellow employee who brought an oxygen cylinder into the MRI suite in the November 2014 incident, according to a report in the Mumbai Mirror. Ramaiah was paralyzed below the waist and had injuries to his bladder and kidneys, while the other employee had a fractured shoulder.

The plaintiffs alleged that the MRI scanner's off switch had been disabled by GE, pinning the men to the machine. The men were freed from their situation hours later after an engineer from GE arrived and deactivated the magnet, according to the report.

Ramaiah received 1 crore rupees, or about $215,000, in compensation for the accident, according to the article. He is now able to walk unaided and returned to work in May 2015, but it reportedly took until last month before he could return to the MRI suite due to lingering traumatic aftereffects.

In February 2015, GE issued a recall of its MRI scanners "in response to a single safety incident in India" that was a "case of human error on site." GE asked its customers to perform a five-minute check to ensure that the scanners' magnetic rundown unit had not been disconnected as a part of postinstallation service. The unit is essentially an "emergency off switch" for the MRI magnet, according to GE.

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