Having experienced an MRI scan, I add myself to the list of sympathisers!
In my case it was a brain scan (to my surprise, they found something - i.e. a brain rather than the empty space I was expecting!). As I recall, this meant that the headphones weren't an option. Moreover, I had to keep my head absolutely still for the considerable duration, which meant it being wedged/strapped for enhanced enjoyment. I found that the key to not having an attack of claustrophobia was to on no account open my eyes so that I was never confronted with the inside of the tube mere inches from my face...
The noise is pretty intense - I was provided with a pair of foam barrel earplugs, which would be my preferred option were I to have another scan. Used properly, these can reduce the sound intensity far more than insulating headphones - 25dB+. I presume that patients get a sub-damaging total sound dose over the course of a scan or proper protection would be obligatory. Anecdotally I'm not convinced though, as it seemed awfully loud to me despite the earplugs - which I'm used to deploying correctly as they're the same as those I use sometimes when playing orchestral percussion.
As others have mentioned above, ordinary headphones (or electronic devices of any description) are a complete no-no anywhere near an MRI scanner. MRI scanners generate seriously intense magnetic fields. Their strength is such that metal objects in the vicinity can be subjected to tremendous mechanical acceleration (i.e. turning them into lethal projectiles) or intense heating (potentially causing serious burns). This isn't just a theoretical risk, the forces/energy involved are serious and people have been seriously injured and killed in this way. Don't believe me? A quick search of reputable sources should turn up evidence - e.g. the US FDA has http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/Sa...&utm_content=4
I'll spare you the details we were given as undergraduates of what happened to someone who ignored protocol and accidentally ended up in a lab with similar oscillating magnetic flux densities to those inside an MRI scanner and was still wearing his metal watch when the electromagnets were powered up. Not nice...
I'd hope that if (with the best of intentions) Gamba, or anyone bought any device as discussed, the hospital wouldn't let it anywhere near an MRI scanner. I wouldn't want to go anywhere near it in the absence of a strict safety protocol that ensures they know what's going in or anywhere near it, where it came from and can be sure it's safe.
Your best bet might be to offer to make a donation toward the purchase of a new set - which will probably be expensive for what it is due to the above.
Sounds quite frightening ! Earplugs would not have been acceptable in my case anyway, as the staff were passing information to me re. the progress of the procedure & any instructions through the headphones.
oh yes, I'd forgotten that aspect of it
Originally Posted by gamba
I went for an MRI a few years back without realising how narrow the tube was; within seconds I had an attack of claustrophobia and requested they stop. The form asked me all sorts of silly questions - was I pregnant, did I have shrapnel from a war wound - but didn't ask if I was claustrophobic. The only way they got me back in there was with a dose of Tamazapam; then it was such a trippy experience, like that psychedelic sequence from 2001. All I needed was some Ligeti to go with it.