Doctors routinely make difficult decisions as to what drugs and substances to give patients and in what circumstances. Patients rely on their doctors to make safe decisions on their behalf. That is why patients become upset when doctors administer substances to patients after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) identifies such substance as harboring potential health hazards.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a common diagnostic procedure that provides images of the internal structures of the body. Doctors inject contrast agents prior to performing an MRI because they are dyes that make the internal structures of the body more clear during the scan. Many of these contrast agents contain a chemical called Gadolinium.
Gadolinium is removed from the body via the kidneys. Its use is a risk for people who are prone to kidney problems and has recently been found to cause Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis (NSF). NSF is a painful and incurable illness that causes fibrosis on the skin and several organs. Recent reports indicate that Ominscan, Magnevist and Optimark may be the most likely Gadolinium based contrast agents to cause NSF.
Consider a case where a woman was given a Gadolinium based contrast agent despite the fact that she was on Dialysis. The FDA has issued a “black box” warning for these sorts of contrast agents because of its correlation to cases of NSF. Nonetheless, the doctors still injected the chemical into the woman and she wants to know why.
The woman is now bedridden and cannot perform daily activities without becoming exhausted. NSF typically hardens the skin around the joints making even minimal movement painful. Further, the mortality rate of NSF patients increases to fifty-percent after two years.
There are other contrast agents that can be used in lieu of Gadolinium based agents. These alternatives may have not have put this woman’s life at risk. She and her family want to know why her doctors gave her a Gadolinium based contract agent despite her already suffering kidneys and the strictest of warnings from the FDA.
There can be little doubt that doctors are burdened with making difficult decisions over drugs and treatments. However, in the case of Gadolinium base contrast agents, such decisions are hard to understand.
To learn more about how these cases work, I encourage you to explore my website http://www.oginski-law.com. If you have legal questions, I urge you to pick up the phone and call me at 516-487-8207 or by e-mail at [email protected]. I welcome your call.