Noel Jodoin began to suffer an unusual headache. The headache was severe and after it continued for 3 days, she went to the hospital for an evaluation. When talking to the ER doctors, Johnson said she saw occasional flashes of light and over-the-counter medication was not helping. The doctors suspected a migraine and provided IV fluids and pain medication.
A few hours later, Jodoin began to experience slurred speech, restlessness, low blood pressure, and paralysis to her right arm. A doctor ordered a CT scan and a neurological consult. After a CT scan, the radiologist noticed mildly prominent veins in the braid but doubted clinical significance. A few hours later, Jodoin suffered a seizure and hemorrhage. As a result of the stroke, she suffered partial paralysis, epilepsy, and seizures.
The victim filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the radiologist for misreading the CT scan. According to the plaintiff, if the radiologist had properly identified the coming stroke, a blood thinner could have been administered to prevent the damage. A jury agreed with the injury victim, finding in favor of the victim for $5 million in damages.
CT Scan to Evaluate Stroke Risk
A CT scan is an invaluable tool in evaluating a possible stroke. The CT scan uses X-rays to look at the brain, which can be used to show abnormalities, including blood clots, tumors, and other defects in the brain and skull. A CT scan does not always show evidence of a clot, stroke, or transient ischemic attack, but it can be one of the best tools for doctors to evaluate stroke concerns in the brain.
Some of the signs and symptoms of a stroke include:
- Slurred speech
- Face drooping
- Sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or trouble understanding speech
- Dizziness, loss of balance, or difficulty walking
- Sudden severe headache
- Difficulty seeing in one or both eyes
What Does a Radiologist Do?
A radiologist is a doctor trained to read and interpret the results of certain types of medical imaging devices, such as x-rays or MRI’s. Radiologists often work with other physicians in order to help diagnose and treat a patient by reading and interpreting the results of these scans. When a radiologist fails to diagnose issues that are apparent to a reasonable doctor, this can constitute negligence.
As part of the larger health care team, doctors rely on radiologists to properly review and interpret medical imaging scans for patients. When radiologists fail to properly evaluate the images, it can lead to delayed treatment, improper diagnosis, and sending a patient home without receiving proper care for a serious situation, like a stroke.
After a Failed Radiologist Evaluation
One of the most important functions of a radiologist is to correctly diagnose medical conditions in patients based on their diagnostic imaging test results. Failure to diagnose a disease, illness, or health condition is one of the most common causes of malpractice claims against radiologists.
At Gilman & Bedigian, we are committed to helping patients and families who have been injured by medical malpractice to understand their legal rights and help obtain compensation. To speak with a member of our personal injury team, fill out an online case evaluation form or call (800) 529-6162 today.