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MRI of Woman Giving Birth

MRI of Baby in the birth canal. Photo Credit: Charité Hospital

Wow. Just…wow.

A couple of days ago, a woman in Germany gave birth at the Berlin’s Charité Hospital while inside an MRI scanner

 so scientists could study the birthing process in more detail.

A hospital spokesperson said the entire procedure went well, and both mother and baby are doing well.

Researchers designed a special “open” MRI machine in order to accommodate the experiment. MRI’s are quite loud though, so the mother still had to wear earmuffs, and the procedure was stopped after the amniotic sac broke, in order to protect the baby’s hearing.

MRIs use large coils of wire to generate a strong magnetic field to image the body. Generally, the bigger the magnet means a better picture, so the opening in which the patients lie is as small as possible. In this case, it was more advantageous to have a more open design. A photo of the actual MRI machine used in this experiment was not given, but it would look something like this.

An "open" MRI machine. Photo Credit: Open MRI of Canada

So what was the point of all this? Scientists want to study the birth process better in order to understand what causes complications, and prevent them.

Experiments like this are going to continue, as 5 more mothers have volunteered for the procedure.

Man, how many times have I said I would write a post about the “Physics of MRI”? Quite a few…its coming I promise, cause I have a couple more cool MRI studies to share… stay tuned.

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