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Lawsuit: MRI Shock Damaged Singer’s Memory

October 27, 2010
Written by: , Filed in: Diagnostic Imaging, Neuroradiology
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Electric shocks she received during an MRI brain exam have left a Philadelphia jazz singer unable to learn new songs, “to her professional detriment, embarrassment, and financial loss,” according to a lawsuit.

The singer, Denise King, says she was placed in the MRI machine during a visit to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in November 2008.  Almost immediately, her complaint says, she experienced several electric shocks. When she complained, technicians stopped the test.

“Immediately, or very shortly after having experienced electric shocks from the MRI machine, plaintiff experienced physical changes such as apparent exit wounds, tingling and swelling of her arms and hands with associated pain,” the complaint says, as reported by Courthouse News Service.

“In addition to the physical symptoms, after experiencing the shock in the MRI machine, plaintiff noticed that she was having cognitive difficulties, particularly, trouble with short-term memory and acquiring new information,” the complaint says. “The cognitive changes have not resolved.”

King is popular in Philadelphia and has toured the world. She has performed with singers Celine Dion and Billy Paul, among others, according to the Philadelphia Daily News. Here’s a video from an April 2010 performance in suburban Philadelphia, including an interview with the singer. YouTube has several other videos of her singing.

Before she decided to pursue music full-time, King worked for 13 years as a medical assistant in oncology, in-vitro fertilization, and high-risk obstetrics, according to an online biographical sketch.

The lawsuit says that an examination of the MRI machine turned up no technical malfunction, so it blames negligence by “the agents, workmen, servants and employees of the defendant.”

The complaint seeks more than $50,000 in damages from the hospital, the University of Pennsylvania trustees, and Penn Medicine.

The lawsuit was filed late last week. King, her attorney, and a hospital spokeswoman all declined comment.

Related seminar: Neuro & Musculoskeletal Imaging

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