The radiology department at a hospital or medical center is responsible for administering high-energy radiation tests and treatments. Radiologists are medical doctors who, according to the American College of Radiologists, must complete at least 13 years of training and schooling before achieving board-certification. Maintaining certification requires continued education and training in the field to ensure the safest and most effective techniques are being performed.
There are two primary functions served by radiologists: diagnostic radiology and interventional radiology. Errors can occur with either type of radiology that place patients at heightened risk for serious or fatal complications. When this occurs, victims may be entitled to seek compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Diagnostic Radiology and Interventional Radiology
Diagnostic radiology may include:
- CT Scans
- Nuclear medicine
- PET imaging
- Ultrasound imaging
Because it is used for diagnostic purposes, missed or delayed diagnosis is the most common type of medical malpractice in radiology departments. Mistakes by doctors, nurses and other hospital staff in this department can cause serious injuries or death when they are not performed correctly.
Radiology departments also administer treatments for:
- Various cancers
- Arterial or venous blockages
- Uterine fibroids
- Liver and kidney problems
Interventional radiology may also be used for imaging during the insertion of catheters, intravenous lines, and other medical devices and tools.
Negligence in the Radiology Department
In addition to delayed diagnosis, examples of adverse events or negligence in a radiology department include:
- Medication errors
- IV infiltration of contrast material
- Mislabeled images
- Misread radiology studies
- Communication errors
- Radiation overdoses
- Failure to decrease radiation doses for children
These mistakes can produce serious consequences such as limb damage, shock, amputation, radiation burns, cardiac or respiratory arrest, and death.
Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
If you believe you or someone close to you was injured by a radiologist or another provider in a radiology department or if there was a failure to diagnose a serious condition, you may want to speak with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer.
When serious injury is the result of medical negligence, victims are often entitled to seek compensation for all related expenses and damages. Depending on the case, compensatory damages for pain and suffering may be awarded as well. This is something that should be discussed with a qualified medical malpractice attorney before a settlement is accepted. Because this type of lawsuit is often very complex, it can be useful to work with a law firm that has both doctors and lawyers for additional information and free consultation.
Kline & Specter has more than 40 attorneys, five of whom are also highly skilled medical doctors – the most of any firm in America. The firm has offices in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and New York. For cases outside those states, Kline & Specter works with local attorneys in each state as applicable.