Tushar Garg, MD (he/him/his)
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Disclosure information not submitted.
The purpose of this study was to be evaluate medical malpractice claims involving interventional radiologists (IRs) by looking at types of claims, their characteristics and outcomes using legal databases.
Materials and Methods:
Two online legal databases, Verdict Search and LexisNexis were used to identify all malpractice claims involving IRs from 1996 to June 31st, 2022 using the keywords “interventional” AND “radiology OR radiologist.” Data collected from the cases included plaintiff characteristics, health care setting, type of medical malpractice alleged, specific procedure involved, method of case resolution, and amount awarded.
A total of 399 cases were identified on the initial search of which 93 unique cases were included in the study. Plaintiff characteristics were available for 87 cases, of which similar number of plaintiffs identified as female (50.5%, 44/87) or male (49.5%, 43/93) and the mean age was 52 (range 11 - 82) years. Patient setting was available for 77 cases of which majority occurred in outpatient (55.8%, 43/77) followed by inpatient (40.3%, 31/77) and emergency (3.9%, 3/77) setting. IRs were individually name as defendants in 46.2% (43/93), along with a healthcare institution in 43% (40/93), and not named in 10.8% (10/93) of cases. The claims were made based on procedural errors leading to medical negligence (94.6%, 88/93), followed by failure to obtain appropriate informed consent along with medical negligence (18.3%, 17/93), failure to appropriately refer the patient (3.2%, 3/93), and failure to diagnose a medical condition (2.1%, 2/93). The procedures mentioned in claims included vascular procedures (37.5%, 33/88), biopsies (27.3%, 24/88), IVC filter placements (6.8%, 6/88), genitourinary procedures (5.6%, 5/88), vertebral procedures (4.5%, 4/88), gastrointestinal and biliary procedures (4.5%, 4/88), and others (13.6%, 12/88). Of these cases, most went to trial (77.4%, 77/93), out of which 24.7% (19/77) results in judgement for the plaintiff with an average award of $2,012,243 (range $101,667 - $6,400,000). For the cases that were resolved by settlement (10.8%, 10/93), the average settlement amount was $877,500 (range $200,000 - $2,700,000). Rest of the cases were dismissed without trial (7.5%, 7/93), resolved by arbitration (2.2%, 2/93) or the outcome is unknown (2.2%, 2/93).
Most malpractice cases involving IRs were based on alleged procedural errors or failure to obtain informed consent, therefore, comprehensive preprocedural planning with counselling can help minimize the number and impact of malpractice cases.