Doctors are warning people not to wear Lululemon-like clothing during MRIs — here's why

  • Doctors are warning patients not to wear spandex clothing when coming in for a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) procedure.
  • Fabrics that use spandex often have metallic threads that could react with the machine and cause burns on patients.
  • Radiologists and hospitals are now banning all athleisure during MRIs, and some are calling Lululemon out by name. 

Doctors are warning patients not to wear items containing metal when coming in for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) procedures, as the machine will react, heating up and potentially causing light to moderate burning, MarketWatch reports. 

Wearers may not realize it, but there could be small threads of metal in their athleisure clothing. The metals, usually silver, are woven into the garments to prevent them from stinking when the wearer sweats during exercise. Metal heats up in MRI machines, so hospitals and radiologists are now having patients wearing such clothing change into cotton or paper gowns.

Related: Hospital expenses 

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10 wildly overinflated hospital expenses
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10 wildly overinflated hospital expenses

Tylenol

Charge to patient: $15 per individual pill, for a total of $345 during average patient stay

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Patient belonging bag

Like a grocery bag, to hold your personal items.

Charge to patient: $8

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Box of tissues

Sometimes listed as “mucus recovery system,” a single tissue box in a hospital costs $8.

Charge to patient: $8

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Gloves

Charge to patient: $53 per non-sterile pair (sterile are higher), for a total of $5,141 during average patient stay.

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Cup medicine

Cost is for the plastic cup used to administer medicine, not the actual medicine inside it.

Charge to patient, per cup: $10, for a total of $440 during average patient stay

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Marking pen

To mark the body for surgery.

Charge to patient: $17.50

Blood pressure cuff

Use of blood pressure cuff in a hospital costs about $20.

Charge to patient: $20

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Oral administration fee

Charge for a nurse to hand you medicine taken by mouth.

Charge to patient: $6.25 per instance, for a total of $87.50 during average patient stay

Headlight

Cost of use of the overhead light in an operating room.

Charge to patient: $93.50

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Swabs, alcohol

Charge to patient: $23 per swab, for a total of $322 during average patient stay

Luckily, though, you don't just have to helplessly accept these high hospital costs. Check out these tips to help lower your hospital costs.

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There are a number of reports of people getting burned in this way. One report from 2012 described an 11-year-old girl getting second-degree burns after her undershirt reacted to the machine while she was sedated inside of it.

Many manufacturers make clothing with silver thread in it. Lululemon was specifically cited in a case from 2014, when a woman pressed the emergency stop button on an MRI machine after she felt a burning sensation. She was wearing the company's yoga pants, which had the metallic thread in them.

Some signs in hospitals are specifically calling Lululemon out by name in their bans of athleisure, according to MarketWatch. 

It's not just Lululemon — in fact, all clothing that states that it is  "anti-microbial" or "anti-bacterial" should be avoided, as it likely also uses this metallic technology. It's hard to spot with the naked eye as the technology improves, so the only way to know for sure is by looking at the tag. When in doubt, go for a standard t-shirt. 

Related: Hospital rankings 

20 PHOTOS
US News: Best Hospitals in the US 2017
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US News: Best Hospitals in the US 2017

20. Mayo Clinic Phoenix

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19. NYU Langone Medical Center, New York

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18. Mount Sinai Hospital, New York

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17. Duke University Hospital, Durham, North Carolina

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16. Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals, Philadelphia

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15. University of Colorado Hospital, Aurora

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14. UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside, Pittsburgh

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13. Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago

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12. Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis

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11. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles

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10. Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania-Penn Presbyterian, Philadelphia

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9. Stanford Health Care-Stanford Hospital, Stanford, California

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8. New York-Presbyterian Hospital, New York

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7. Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles

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6. University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers, Ann Arbor

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5. UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco

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4. Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston

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3. Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore

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2. Cleveland Clinic

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1. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota

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