Radiological studies can play a very large role in the diagnosis and treatment of a patient. When studies are not done or are incorrectly read the consequences can be detrimental to the patient. In this case, the patient suffered a DVT, a type blood clot that often occurs after surgeries. The DVT was missed by a radiologist in a Venous Doppler Study. Due to the radiologist’s error the client suffered a pulmonary embolus. A pulmonary embolus is a blockage of blood flow in the lungs by a blood clot. Due to her suffering both a DVT and a pulmonary embolus the client now suffers from shortness of breath, fatigue, and chest pains; the client also now has a greater likelihood of suffering from another DVT. The misread radiological study constituted a breach in the standard of care, and Todd Townsley was able to make a recovery for the client.
Our client had a successful sinus surgery and was discharged home for bed rest. Two days later she reported to the emergency room with complaints of pain and swelling in her left calf and foot. At the ER, she was noted to have redness and warmth in her lower left extremity. The doctor prescribed her Lovenox, an anticoagulant used to prevent blood clots. The emergency room physician ordered a Venous Doppler Study of the left foot and ankle to ensure that the pain was not being caused by a DVT. A radiologist performed the Doppler study. He reported that it was normal and, furthermore, it was noted that there was no evidence of a DVT. The next day the client’s attending physician stopped her prescription of Lovenox and discharged her home with a presumed diagnosis of superficial thrombophlebitis. Two days later the client reported back to the emergency room with complaints of shortness of breath and chest pains. A Ventilation-Perfusion scan was performed, and the scan revealed that the client had a pulmonary embolus. At this visit another Venous Doppler Study was performed by the same radiologist who had performed the former study. In this study the radiologist noted that the findings were abnormal, and he was able to identify a DVT. He went on to state that the original Doppler study was also abnormal and that there were signs of a DVT. The other physicians who saw our client stated that had they known that there was a possibility of a DVT, they would have kept her on Lovenox to prevent a blood clot. As a result of the blood clot causing a pulmonary embolus our client has suffered fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pains, and now has an increased likelihood of a recurring DVT. Due to her shortness of breath she now has problems playing with her son. The three doctors on a medical review panel were of the opinion that the radiologist did not breach the standard of care under the Louisiana Medical Malpractice Act. However, The Townsley Law Firm hired expert witnesses who testified that the standard of care was breached. Todd Townsley was able to settle this case prior to trial and make a recovery for his client.