Radiology Malpractice - Wrongful Death
Judge or Jury
On September 26, 2011, plaintiff’s decedent was an 84-year-old man who fell down the stairs at his home in the middle of the night. He was taken to a local emergency department by ambulance in full c-spine precautions.
On arrival at the emergency department, he was disoriented and complained of pain in his head, neck and shoulder. A CT scan of the cervical spine was read by a NightWatch tele-radiologist and reported as negative for fractures and dislocations. Two hours later, the same study was read and reported by an attending radiologist as negative.
Following the negative CT scan report, the cervical collar was removed by the physician in the emergency department.
The next day, the plaintiff’s decedent was found with significant neurological deficits in his lower extremities. A follow-up cervical CT scan was performed which demonstrated a Grade IV fracture dislocation of his cervical spine with severe central canal narrowing. Shortly thereafter, the plaintiff’s decedent developed quadriplegia from which he died four days later.