The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists and Exeter Hospital in New Hampshire face lawsuits because a radiologist stole syringes filled with fentanyl and injected himself with the painkiller. It is also alleged that he refilled the used syringes with saline and that they were used to inject patients. The radiologist suffered from hepatitis and now at least 32 patients have been diagnosed with his strain of the virus. Medication errors like this one may be of interest to Colorado residents because AART is a national organization and this radiologist could’ve been hired by a Colorado hospital.
At least two patients are including ARRT in their lawsuits, because they claim the organization failed to investigate a complaint against the radiologist in Arizona. They continued to credential him, which allowed him to be hired by Exeter. The Arizona hospital fired him after he was discovered unconscious in the hospital locker room with needles and syringes in his possession.
ARRT claimed that they did not revoke the radiologist’s credentials or report the firing to potential employers because they didn’t have first-hand accounts of the Arizona incident. ARRT used this argument in an attempt to have the case against them dismissed, but a judge disagreed and ruled that there was an opportunity for ARRT to investigate but it did not. Additionally, it was ruled had an investigation been conducted, it is unlikely the radiologist would have been hired by Exeter Hospital.
Medication errors can have life-altering outcomes for patients and their families as this case clearly demonstrates. A medical malpractice attorney may be able to help by reviewing the circumstances of a case and how the error was allowed to occur, and perhaps pursue a settlement that eases the burdens the patient may face.
Source: New Hampshire Union Leader, “Judge says radiology group could be liable in hep-C case,” Jason Schreiber, Jan. 29, 2013