Articles Posted in Radiology Errors

Lacey Povrzenich, who had been 4 years old at the time, underwent bloodwork at Monongahela Valley Hospital, which reported that her creatinine was normal. For the next seven years, Lacey experienced recurrent urinary tract infections. For that condition, Lacey’s pediatrician, Dr. Dawn McCracken, prescribed antibiotics. The doctor also ordered repeat lab work.

Lacey was later admitted to a hospital suffering from dehydration and vomiting. Testing there showed an abnormally high creatinine level. A CT scan of Lacey’s pelvis and abdomen revealed abnormalities in her ureters and kidneys. However, this condition was not noted by the interpreting radiologist.

One year later, a physician’s assistant at a new health clinic noted that Lacey had high blood pressure. A second blood pressure reading that was taken later that year was even higher. The following year, Lacey was rushed to a children’s hospital where she was diagnosed as having end-stage renal failure. This required a double kidney transplant. Lacey now requires up to 30 pills per day for her condition.
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When James Hoznor, 66, developed throat problems, a Veterans Administration (VA) physician ordered an x-ray. The results showed an abnormality at the base of Hoznor’s tongue.

After Hoznor consulted a VA otolaryngologist, a primary care physician Dr. Cornelio Honge told Hoznor that he had a swollen salivary gland and prescribed antibiotics.

For more than a year, Hoznor’s symptoms continued, including swelling of the glands in his neck. Hoznor later sought out an opinion from a non-VA medical provider. A later biopsy showed that Hoznor unfortunately had Stage IV squamous cell carcinoma of the throat and tongue.
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Gail Ingram was 61 years old when she went to a hospital emergency room complaining of abdominal pain. She underwent a CT scan, which was interpreted by radiologist Dr. Barbara Blanco as showing possible pancreatitis, a gallstone and no acute bowel findings.

After a four-day hospital stay, Ingram was instructed to consult her primary care physician and was discharged. Less than two years later, she returned to the emergency room suffering from abdominal pain once again. The CT scan this time revealed a 4-cm lung mass, which led to a lung cancer diagnosis.

Ingram, whose cancer was diagnosed then at Stage IV, died just a month later. She was survived by her husband and two adult children.
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Rickie Lee Huitt, 65, consulted a urologist at The Iowa Clinic after receiving his prostate cancer screening results. The urologist ordered a biopsy, which was sent to the clinic’s anatomical laboratory for interpretation.

The pathologist, Dr. Joy Trueblood, the laboratory’s director, examined Huitt’s slides and reported that she had found cancer in both sides of his prostate.

Huitt then met with the neurologist who told him that he required a radical prostatectomy to survive his cancer. The surgery left Huitt with erectile dysfunction and incontinence.
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Rickie Lee Hewitt consulted a urologist at The Iowa Clinic after receiving his prostate cancer screening results. He was 65 years old at the time. The urologist ordered a biopsy, which was sent to the clinic’s anatomical laboratory for interpretation.

Pathologist Dr. Joy Trueblood, the laboratory’s director, examined Hewitt’s slides and reported that she had found cancer in both sides of his prostate.

Hewitt then met with the urologist, who told him that he required a radical prostatectomy in order to survive his cancer. The surgery left Hewitt with erectile dysfunction and incontinence.
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Gail Ingram went to a hospital emergency room complaining of abdominal pain. She underwent a CT scan, which was interpreted by a radiologist, Dr. Barbara Blanco, as showing possible pancreatitis, a gallstone, and no acute bowel findings. Ingram was 61 years old at that time.

After a four-day hospitalization, she was instructed to consult her primary care physician. Less than two years later, she returned to the emergency room still suffering from abdominal pain. The CT scan revealed a 4-cm lung mass, which led to a lung cancer diagnosis.

Ingram, whose cancer was diagnosed at Stage IV, died just over a month later. She was survived by her husband and two adult children.
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This case arises out of a medical malpractice lawsuit alleged to have been prompted by the negligence of a radiologist. Courtney Webster had a CT scan performed at CDI Indiana LLC‘s diagnostic imaging facility. The radiologist, an independent contractor hired by Medical Scanning Consultants, missed identifying and diagnosing the cancer, which then remained untreated for over a year before being diagnosed.

Webster and her husband, Brian Webster, sued CDI, which in turn insisted that the Websters could not hold it liable because CDI did not directly employ the radiologist who was at fault for not recognizing the cancer.

The district court rejected that argument and applied the law of apparent agency, which instructs that a medical provider is liable if a patient reasonably relied on its apparent authority over the wrongdoer.
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Melanie Smith, 40, was taken to a hospital suffering from a severe headache, slurred speech, dizziness, right-sided weakness, and vomiting. These were all apparent signs of a stroke.

Two hours after she arrived at the hospital, an emergency physician, Dr. Antonio Baca, examined her, prescribed migraine medication and ordered a CT scan. The scan was negative for hemorrhagic stroke.

However, Smith’s symptoms continued over the next few hours. Dr. Baca ordered an MRI and consulted with a neurologist. The MRI showed that Smith had suffered an ischemic stroke. She was then transferred to another hospital where she underwent a craniotomy. A craniotomy is the serious surgical procedure in which the skull is perforated. A bone flap is temporarily removed from the skull to allow access to the brain by the neurosurgeons. A craniotomy is usually completed so that neurosurgeons can remove a brain tumor or an abnormal brain tissue.
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Courtney Webster was diagnosed as having rectal cancer when she was 41 years old. Five years later, she underwent a CT scan at CDI Indiana Center for Diagnostic Imaging after she experienced constipation and noticed blood in her stools.

An independent contractor physician interpreted the CT test and did not mention an abnormal rectal mass. Eighteen months later, Webster underwent a colonoscopy, which showed rectal cancer. A follow-up CT scan showed a soft-tissue rectal mass and indications of metastasis. Webster, whose cancer is now Stage IV, will most likely die from the disease in the near term.

Webster and her husband sued the Center for Diagnostic Imaging, Inc. d/b/a CDI Indiana, LLC and CDI Indianapolis, alleging liability for the independent contractor’s choosing not to report the presence of a rectal mass on the first CT scan.
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Kara Nguyen experienced pain after undergoing a splenectomy, which is the surgical removal of the spleen. She was 23 years old at the time. Her surgeon, Dr. Jorge Leiva, ordered a CT scan. Dr. Andre Arash Lighvani, a radiologist, interpreted the scan as normal.

She was discharged from the hospital and followed up with Dr. Leiva. About a week later, she was readmitted to the hospital suffering from fever and abdominal pain.

After a second CT scan was completed, Dr. Leiva and another general surgeon, Dr. Ziad Amr, diagnosed a blood clot in her portal vein, which was allegedly apparent on both CT scans. Dr. Amr discharged her five days later without a treatment plan for the vein clot.
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