In New Zealand, a young woman harmed by imaging missteps

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Several Kiwi imaging professionals are under fire for a misdiagnosis that started with a trainee sonographer and led to life-changing unnecessary surgery.

The surgery was fallopian-tube removal. The patient was a 19-year-old woman.

The trainee, her supervisor and a radiologist will all have their work randomly reviewed going forward, and the supervising sonographer may face a competency review.

“The ultrasound was performed at an unnamed radiology clinic by a trainee sonographer who told her supervisor she thought the woman had a live ectopic pregnancy in her right fallopian tube,” according to New Zealand Doctor. “Under supervision, the ultrasound was performed again and, though the supervising sonographer said she did not see a fetal heartbeat in the tube and that the images weren’t convincing for the diagnosis, she accepted it.”

The outlet reports that, from there, a radiologist told the woman’s general practitioner that urgent specialist assessment was needed.

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