The radiology department at a hospital or medical center is responsible for administering high-energy radiation tests and treatments. Radiologists – or the physicians who specialize in this area of medicine – complete at least 13 years of training and schooling before achieving board certification. Sometimes a radiologist will concentrate on a subspecialty of radiology involving the cardiovascular system, lungs, breasts, gastrointestinal system, or a specific type of patient population, such as pediatrics.
Negligence in the Radiology Department
Radiologists primarily serve two functions: diagnostic radiology and interventional radiology. Errors can occur with either type. Approximately 31% of radiologists are sued during their careers, and 75% of lawsuits against radiologists result from either a failure to diagnose or a lack of communication about potential risks involved with a test. Radiology malpractice can include:
- Communication errors
- Failure to decrease radiation doses for children
- IV infiltration of contrast material
- Medication errors
- Mislabeled images
- Misread radiology studies
- Operating equipment incorrectly
- Radiation overdoses
- Vascular injury
Among diagnostic mistakes, breast cancer is the most frequently missed diagnosis. When a radiology error involves a failure to diagnose breast cancer, this life-threatening disease can progress into its later stages, at which point the prognosis worsens for the patient. But all of these mistakes can produce serious consequences, such as limb damage, shock, amputation, radiation burns, cardiac or respiratory arrest, and death.
Diagnostic radiology may include any of the following medical tests:
- CT Scans
- Nuclear medicine
- PET imaging
- Ultrasound imaging
Medication Errors and Radiology Malpractice
In addition, according to a report by the Center for the Advancement of Patient Safety, medication errors that harm patients are seven times more frequent in the course of radiological services than anywhere else in the hospital. The most common errors are victims who received the incorrect dose or drug, not receiving the drug they need, or not having the drug administered correctly.
Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Any type of radiology malpractice can have catastrophic results. Patients may be left with severe injuries, permanent complications, or even die because of errors in radiology. When these tragic events occur, it is important to know your rights and legal options.
If you or someone you love was injured due to a radiology error, please contact us for an immediate free consultation. The Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers of Lopez McHugh provide the best possible representation to our clients and achieve corresponding results. Please complete a contact form online to find out how we can help you today.