How Are Patients Harmed by Radiology Errors?

Posted on November 07, 2016 by Shapiro Law Group

brain injury

Radiology errors can cause patients to suffer permanent disabilities or death. The case of former computer programmer Jennifer Drumm is a sad example.

The story begins on a Friday night, when Jennifer Drumm checked herself into a hospital over a severe headache. She had called it “the worst headache in her life.” Jennifer’s doctor was concerned it was a cerebral hemorrhage, a condition that is often fatal. To look for signs, the doctor ordered a CT scan on her brain.

Unfortunately, Jennifer’s hospital did not have staff that could review the CT scan images. Instead, the hospital outsourced a radiologist four hours away to review the scan. The radiologist at the other hospital argued Jennifer did not have a hemorrhage, but a brain tumor. He was wrong. It turns out Jennifer was suffering from a brain abscess, which eventually ruptured.

Jennifer’s parents found her unconscious on the bathroom floor and rushed her back to the hospital. She spent 11 weeks in a coma. The damage to her brain affected her memory and intellect. A neuropsychologist later said Jennifer’s brain injury had given her the cognitive capabilities of a child.

What Are Common Radiology Errors?

Poor communication is one of several possible radiologist mistakes. Radiologists may also misread images. In case described above, patients are misdiagnosed and treatable health conditions go unnoticed.

Patients depend on CT scans to receive an accurate diagnosis. Radiologists cannot afford to make mistakes. When mistakes are made, people like Jennifer Drumm can have their lives ruined, and their families are forced to pick up the pieces.

The Florida medical malpractice attorneys at Shapiro Law Group have more than three decades helping patients and families hurt by medical mistakes.

Tags: Misdiagnosis


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