Investigation into work of senior radiologists resurfaces in Rome

Andrea Purgatori at the red-carpet opening event for the Era Ora movie held at the 17th Rome Film Festival in October 2022. Courtesy of Gennaro Leonardi / Alamy Stock PhotoAndrea Purgatori at the red-carpet opening event for the Era Ora movie held at the 17th Rome Film Festival in October 2022. Courtesy of Gennaro Leonardi / Alamy Stock Photo

A significant development has occurred in the investigation of the role of senior radiologists in the death last year of crime journalist Andrea Purgatori, according to the Italian media.

It appears that the circumstances surrounding his demise may have been more complex than initially understood, noted an article posted on 21 March by Corriere della Sera. The recent incident probe indicates that medical attention primarily focused on a malignant brain tumor, possibly overlooking a serious underlying cardiac infection, specifically infective endocarditis. This oversight raises questions about the diagnostic process and the subsequent treatment path pursued, the report stated.

As the inquiry progresses, increasing attention is focusing on the medical professionals involved in Purgatori's care, including radiologists Prof. Gianfranco Gualdi and his collaborator Dr. Claudio Di Biasi, cardiologist Dr. Guido Laudani, and expert radiologist Dr. Maria Chiara Colaiacomo, Corriere della Serra continued. Their roles in the diagnostic process and the subsequent treatment decisions will be scrutinized further.

Gualdi is thought to have been retired since 2019, while Di Biasi is a radiologist in the emergency department of La Sapienza University Hospital in Rome and is to retire in March 2024.

The involvement in the case of the family, represented by Alessandro Gentiloni Silveri, underscores their commitment to seek clarity and accountability regarding the circumstances leading to Purgatori's untimely death, the article pointed out. Their persistence in pursuing legal avenues reflects their concerns regarding potential medical errors and the need for a thorough investigation, it added.

“The case is still open, and it is difficult to demonstrate a medical error, at least from what is reported by the newspaper," an expert source told AuntMinnieEurope.com. "It seems that the endocarditis could have appeared after the imaging performed to restage the cancer. The journalist quotes that the report was closed hastily, but it seems strange to me, when dealing with a famous person. Let us see what will come from the investigation.”

The outcome of this investigation is expected in the coming months, and it holds significance not only for the Purgatori family but also for medical professionals and institutions tasked with providing quality healthcare, the article concluded. This follows the early 2024 decision to decriminalize medical errors in Italy, which is already having a major impact on clinical practice, according to a video interview with European Society of Radiology Immediate Past President Prof. Carlo Catalano.

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