Ultrasound Malpractice: How to Move Forward
Posted on April 14, 2021 in Medical Malpractice
Using ultrasound imaging is common practice when it comes to caring for women with obstetrical and gynecologic conditions. The vast majority of OB-GYN practitioners in the US have access to ultrasound diagnostic tools in order to efficiently make key determinations about the health of a woman and/or an unborn child. Unfortunately, there are various factors that could lead to problems concerning the effectiveness of the ultrasound. Here, we want to discuss ultrasound malpractice, particularly how these mistakes occur and what victims can do moving forward.
What Causes Ultrasound Malpractice Cases to Arise?
There are various ways in which mistakes can be made during the ultrasound process. This can include:
- Poor imaging. Ultrasound has become the primary means of ensuring the health and safety of a mother and unborn child. Ultrasounds are also used to examine other gynecological conditions. Failing to obtain good image quality is often cited in litigation, and these issues can arise due to:
- Insufficient sonography training
- Incomplete studying of images or studying low-quality images
- Poor sonographers supervision
- Poor equipment maintenance
- Inadequate training or studies. Before ultrasounds were common tools used in medical care, staff would typically learn how to use these devices on the job. However, sonographers are now trained, tested, and certified to perform ultrasound duties. In fact, sonographers are subject to various training requirements that require formal accreditation. The standards for studies and testing related to ultrasounds are established by the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
- Poor maintenance. The quality of ultrasound equipment has significantly improved over the last few decades, and these devices are much more affordable for most practitioners. In general, all practitioners are expected to use modern equipment and ensure this equipment is properly maintained. Using older products is not recommended and not supported by manufacturers. Preventative maintenance and care for modern equipment are absolutely critical. Improper maintenance can lead to low-quality images.
Ultrasounds are Used for Other Reasons
It is important to point out that ultrasounds are not only used in situations concerning pregnancy and birth. Ultrasounds are also used to diagnose various other types of conditions a person may be suffering from. This can include cancer, issues with thyroid glands, diagnosing gallbladder disease, evaluating blood flow, detecting genital or prostate problems, and more. All of the causes of ultrasound malpractice that we mentioned above can occur when performing ultrasounds for any reason.
Will You Need an Attorney?
If you or somebody you love has been injured or become ill because of a misread ultrasound, you need to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. A skilled medical malpractice lawyer in Portland can use their resources to fully investigate what happened and help victims secure maximum compensation. An attorney will handle all communication and negotiations with other parties involved, and they will also prepare the case for trial if necessary to ensure their client is treated fairly. Victims of ultrasound malpractice could suffer from a range of injuries or illnesses. This can include injuries or illnesses to a mother or their child as well as injuries to others who were relying on a diagnosis assisted by ultrasound. Victims in these cases may be entitled to compensation for their medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering damages, lowered quality of life damages, and more.