When MRI Errors Harm Patients

The MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is a powerful diagnostic tool that is superior to an X-ray, because it has the capability to produce images of soft tissues in the body. The MRI is able to provide three dimensional images of both healthy and abnormal tissue without the use of surgery or other invasive procedures. It is useful for examination of the spinal cord, brain, heart, tissue and is often used to detect tumors.

At The Law Office of Robert H. Kleinschmidt, P.C., in Scottsdale, our attorney works hard to help hold negligent medical professionals accountable and to help you recover the full and fair compensation to which you are entitled.

Dangers To Patients Undergoing MRI

Unfortunately, the MRI is not without its dangers. Both the powerful electromagnetic field generated by the device, and the radio frequency induced electrical currents, can cause potential harm to patients.

Patients are at risk for the following types of injuries during an MRI procedure:

  • The use of Gadolinium based contrast dyes during an MRI may increase the risk for a particular complication in patients with kidney failure, called "nephrogenic systemic fibrosis." This rare syndrome causes thickening of the skin and internal organs of the body.
  • Second degree skin burns have been reported (rarely) in individuals with tattoos containing jet black iron oxide ink.
  • Metallic brain aneurysm clips can migrate during an MRI scan and cause potentially fatal lacerations to cerebral arteries.
  • Pacemakers and implantable heart defibrillators can move within the body during an MRI. Because these implants are metal, they can heat up during the procedure and burn the surrounding tissue. The devices may malfunction.
  • Metallic instruments such as oxygen canisters, buckets or other metallic objects that are unsecured within the MRI area, can turn into "projectiles" and strike, injure or kill a patient within the MRI "tunnel".

Failure To Read And Interpret An MRI Scan

Patients who undergo an MRI for a brain scan, and who are scheduled for brain surgery to remove a tumor, might naturally expect their scan to be read and reviewed by a specialist, such as a their own neurosurgeon.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Often, MRI test results are read by general radiologists, who may fail to read and interpret the results correctly.

The failure of a radiologist or other health care worker to properly read and interpret and MRI Scan can result in patient injury, including:

  • Delayed diagnosis
  • Misdiagnosis
  • Delays in receiving proper medical care
  • Illness or death due to misdiagnosis

If you have been injured during an MRI procedure, or have been misdiagnosed due to the negligence of a health care worker, you may have grounds to file a medical malpractice suit.

Contact Our Phoenix Area Law Firm For A Free Initial Consultation

Please call an Arizona lawyer at the Law Office of Robert H. Kleinschmidt, P.C., at 480-951-3949 to speak to a lawyer about your injuries. You may also contact us online.