MRI Lawyer

MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Scans performed with MRI technology create images of organs and other soft tissues of the body through the use of radio waves and a strong magnetic field. While MRI scans provide unique images not available through x-rays, CT scans and other scanning procedures, the scanning process with MRI can sometimes result in complications.

These complications, including problems associated with the use of gadolinium dyes, can have long-term effects. Because of the potential for long term damage, those suffering harm from the use of gadolinium or other complications from an MRI procedure may be entitled to compensation, and they are advised to consult a knowledgeable MRI lawyer for a case evaluation. Let an experienced attorney help you recover damages.

The Use of Gadolinium in MRI Scans

In a large percentage of MRI scans, a contrast medium sometimes referred to as a dye, is used to help improve the visibility of certain abnormalities in bodily tissues such as inflammation. The contrast medium is injected intravenously and is supposed to be eliminated from the body through the kidneys. In most cases, it is the radiologist overseeing the procedure who determines whether a contrast media should be used.

The contrast medium used for most MRI scans is a formula based on gadolinium, an elemental rare earth metal. Gadolinium changes the magnetic properties of water molecules, and this alteration enhances the contrast, and therefore the quality, of magnetic resonance images.

While the substance is injected with the intention of staying in the body just long enough to serve its purpose of enhancing MRI images, studies have indicated that instead of being flushed out through the kidneys, the mineral may often be deposited and retained in the patient’s brain.

Problems Associated with Gadolinium

The use of gadolinium-based dyes in MRIs is being linked to several severe medical problems. For patients with diabetes or other conditions reducing kidney function, gadolinium may cause the disease nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF). Patients with this disease develop thickened connective tissues and skin, which restricts movement and the functioning of internal organs and can lead to disability and even death.

At present, the medical community has no cure or effective treatment to offer for NSF. Even a single injection containing gadolinium can be enough to trigger the condition.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued warnings about this over a decade ago.

Exposure to gadolinium can also cause other debilitating conditions for those with compromised kidney function. These include bone weakness, nerve damage, and anemia, as well as a potential increased risk of heart disease.

Even patients with no impairment of kidney function have experienced harm from the toxic effects of gadolinium. These include chronic pain, decreased vision, tinnitus, balance problems, and various other symptoms.

Other Problems Associated with MRI Scans

Because the magnetic force used in MRI scans is so powerful, it can cause complications or tragic incidents in doctor’s offices. Metal objects are often drawn to the magnets used in MRI. In one case, a metal oxygen tank was dislodged from a technician’s hands and struck a patient in the head, causing fatal injuries.

MRI scans can also cause metal parts of devices such as pacemakers, staples, pins, and artificial joints to dislodge in a patient’s body. These cases, while rare, are well-known enough to put those use MRI scans on notice of the safety precautions that should be taken to prevent injury from metal objects dislodged by magnetic force.

When a testing facility fails to take proper precautions, it may be held liable for resulting injuries.

Talk to an MRI Attorney Who Understands Your Concerns

If you or a loved one have suffered an injury or debilitating condition after undergoing an MRI, it may be possible to obtain compensation from those responsible. Each case is unique, but the time to file an action for compensation is limited by state law. So, for a free case evaluation, contact an MRI lawyer at your earliest convenience.