With over 300 million radiological procedures performed in the U.S. each year and “X-ray” and “MRI” now household terms, a trip to radiological services may seem trivial to many people. However, don’t take these visits lightly. There is a high percentage of harmful medication errors associated with visiting such diagnostic and treatment centers.
In fact, the percentage of harmful medication errors reported in radiological services is seven times higher than many other types of medication errors, according to the 2004 MEDMARX Data Report of medication errors published by the United States Pharmacopeia (USP).
Are You At Risk?
So, how does a simple X-ray put you at risk? First, radiological services are not just about performing X-rays anymore. These services have grown to include the cardiac catheterization laboratory and nuclear medicine as well as diagnostic tests such as lung scans and MRIs. Radiology staff also drain abscesses, insert gastric feeding tubes and open blood vessels (angioplasties). These are all complicated procedures and 20 percent involve the use of a radiological pharmaceutical, a drug used to create contrast...