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Improper Use of MRI Machine Leads to Serious Injuries

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a medical imaging test that uses magnetic pulses in conjunction with radio wave energy to view internal organs and other areas of the body. An MRI is a specialized piece of equipment with unique requirements. The MRI is not the same as a CT scan. During an MRI, the patient’s body is placed in a unit and must remain motionless for some time while the imaging is performed. Medical personnel who operate MRI machines must be properly trained in their use.

According to a recent lawsuit, a woman was injured during an MRI procedure. The woman claims that the machine was not properly operated and that the MRI machine was too small. As a result, the woman sustained physical injuries to the left side of her body. The injuries included burns due to her placement on the equipment. The woman states that the injuries were very severe and very painful. The lawsuit does not indicate whether the injuries were permanent, however, burn injuries often require continued medical treatment including the possibility of skin grafts to repair the damage. Additionally, the woman will likely have scarring and disfigurement because of the burns to her body. These injuries could have been prevented if the technicians were more careful while operating the machine. The equipment may not have been large enough to accommodate the woman, or she may have been positioned incorrectly on the table. Whatever the reason, the woman was injured because of the negligent care she received. The medical personnel should have been more cautious and noticed that the woman was not properly aligned to fit into the machine.

When a patient suffers a serious injury because of negligent care, it is considered medical malpractice. In this instance, the woman may request damages to cover her medical expenses, lost wages, future treatments, and pain and suffering caused by the injury.  If you or someone you love was injured due to an improperly performed MRI procedure, contact our office today.  At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, our highly experienced medical malpractice attorneys may be able to help you recover the compensation you deserve.  We help clients throughout Upstate New York, with offices in multiple convenient locations. Our extensive experience in the medical malpractice field is reflected in the results we have achieved for our clients.

The FDA has received nearly 400 reports of MRI-related accidents in the last decade. More than 70% of the accidents resulted in burns, with 10% of the injuries occurring when metal objects such as ink pens, cleaning equipment, and oxygen canisters were drawn into the scanner’s magnetic field.

Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, is a procedure that captures images of the body using magnetic fields and radio waves. This non-invasive technique is used to diagnose diseases, injuries, and other medical issues in patients, such as benign brain tumor growths, muscle tears, and bone fractures. In recent years, MRI scanning procedures have become more common as doctors and patients have recognized their benefits. There is always an inherent risk when a patient enters a hospital for an exam or surgical procedure.

However, due to the complexity of this imaging technique and the precautions required to avoid MRI accidents, MRI malpractice cases are uncommon. Even so, when they do occur, they usually involve fundamental safety issues that result in these claims.  Understanding these risks can help you spot potential red flags if you ever consider getting an MRI.

When a patient receives an incorrect or improper MRI scan or fails to receive a required MRI scan, this is considered MRI malpractice. Doctors commit malpractice when they fail to provide a proper diagnosis or administer proper treatment.

MRI malpractice can also occur if a patient is exposed to an excessive amount of radiation during an MRI procedure, increasing the risk of injury or long-term damage from the MRI. In contrast, if a patient is given a lower radiation dose than is required for the MRI procedure, the risk of the MRI becoming inconclusive or failing to detect a condition or illness increases.  If either of these things happens, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the facility where the MRI accident occurred.

The next step in this process is to determine whether the errors had any impact on how the patient’s treatment turned out. Finally, after determining whether professional errors occurred and investigating their impact on the outcome, doctors should consider whether they caused physical or emotional harm to the patient. These factors will aid in determining whether the doctor committed malpractice.

  1. Improperly Placed Equipment

To complete an MRI scan, the patient must be properly positioned on the table and within arm’s reach of the machine to hold onto it while they undergo their examination. If they are not in the proper position, they may be scanned incorrectly, causing them harm or even death.

  1. Using Foreign Objects

Wearing jewelry or metal objects during an MRI scan is not recommended because they will disrupt the electromagnetic field inside the machine. However, some patients wear these items and then remove them when staff asks; if this is done during a procedure, serious injury can result from metal fragments being propelled into sensitive areas such as the eye.

  1. Inadequately Secured Medical Devices

If medical equipment or IVs are not properly secured before entering the MRI room, they can become dislodged and injure both the patient and those present.

  1. Failure to Clean Equipment Properly

Even though an MRI machine is designed to be sterile during use, bacteria, and viruses can accumulate on surfaces if not properly cleaned. If another patient comes in for a scan, they may be exposed to dangerous microorganisms.

  1. Interference from Outside Sources with Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technology

Strong magnetic fields emitted by MRI machines can interfere with electric devices outside the machine’s chamber. Pacemakers are one example; if a person has one implanted, the device will send radio signals through the body, interfering with data collection from an MRI exam.

  1. Failure to Take Appropriate Safety Precautions

MRI exams typically necessitate proximity between the patient and the doctors or technicians performing the examination. As a result, proper MRI safety precautions must be in place to ensure that no one is injured during the process. For example, anyone entering the MRI scanner room should wear protective clothing such as lab coats and gloves.

A doctor will consider whether there was a deviation from standard care when determining whether an MRI accident is a case of medical negligence.

Standard care is the appropriate and customary treatment for a specific type of patient with the same presenting complaint, provided by other physicians in the same specialty area at the same medical center. It is critical to remember that a physician must provide medical evidence to demonstrate that they provided standard care. Otherwise, it’s more likely that they were careless.

MRI mistakes can have disastrous consequences. If you or a loved one has been injured because of an MRI scan error, it is critical that you seek experienced legal counsel from DeFrancisco & Falgiatano.

If you or a family member was seriously injured because of a medical mistake, call our office today.  We have a team of experienced medical malpractice lawyers who will review your case and advise you on whether you have a claim. If you have a claim, you can be confident that we will fight for your rights and get you the compensation you deserve. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, our expert medical malpractice attorneys take pride in assisting families harmed by medical negligence.  We represent injured clients and their families throughout Upstate New York, including Syracuse, Rochester, Albany, Buffalo, Elmira, Binghamton, Auburn, Ithaca, Oswego, Norwich, Herkimer, Delhi, Cooperstown, Cortland, Lowville, Oneida, Watertown, Utica, Canandaigua, Wampsville, Lyons, and surrounding areas.  Please call us at 833-200-2000 or contact us via our online form to discuss your case.

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