Skilled Medical Malpractice Attorneys at Hyatt & Weber Hold Doctors Responsible for Radiology Errors
Radiology is a specialized field of medicine that utilizes radiation diagnostic tests such as CT scans, PET scans, MRIs, x-rays, ultrasounds, sonograms, and other imaging methods to diagnose and treat patients. Often, these tools are used to diagnose patients with broken bones, as well as to diagnose cancer, malfunctioning organs, and internal bleeding. Radiologic errors account for a large percentage of medical malpractice cases. These medical imaging tests are interpreted by a radiologist who then makes a diagnosis. The radiologic error rate is approximately between three percent and five percent.
Issues with malpractice in the field of radiology stem from:
- Failure to Diagnose
- Errors in Diagnostic Equipment
- Improper Diagnostic Procedure
The most common radiologic problem in medical malpractice lawsuits stems from the failure to diagnose. This means that the reviewing radiologist fails to correctly interpret a diagnostic test. There are several types of misinterpretations that a radiologist can make when reviewing these tests:
- Failure to Diagnose: A radiologist fails to correctly read a radiograph, causing them to subsequently diagnose a patient with the wrong illness or medical condition.
- Missed Diagnosis: A radiologist incorrectly reads a radiograph and gives a patient an erroneous “clean bill of health.”
- Delayed Diagnosis: A radiologist makes the correct diagnosis, but after a significant delay.
These errors may be involved in the failure to correctly diagnose cancer or the failure to correctly diagnose a fracture. Radiologic errors also involve failure to diagnose a heart condition, failure to diagnose an organ failure such as appendicitis, or failure to identify internal bleeding. All of these scenarios can have grave, permanent or even fatal consequences in patients.
If you have been diagnosed with cancer in an area that was previously x-rayed and determined to be “normal,” you may have a malpractice claim for failure to diagnose. A peer-reviewed study evaluating previous “normal” chest radiographs of patients who were later diagnosed with lung carcinoma revealed that the cancer could be seen in as many as 90 percent of these diagnostic tests.
Radiologic errors also stem from errors in diagnostic equipment or errors in diagnostic procedure. Diagnostic equipment is sensitive and requires proper attention and maintenance by owners. Equally important is the placement of the equipment and procedures that must be followed when utilizing the equipment. Radiograph technicians may fail to operate this equipment correctly, leading to radiograph errors. The failure to keep working, accurate diagnostic equipment can have serious consequences for many patients.
Malpractice cannot be established merely by asserting that there is a radiology error. In order to prove that the radiologic error was the result of medical malpractice, experienced attorneys must determine the mistake occurred due to practitioner negligence. An experienced medical malpractice attorney must also prove that a plaintiff suffered pain and harm as a result of this radiology error.
If you suspect that you or someone in your family has suffered personal injury, or wrongful death, due to a radiology error in College Park, Waldorf, Annapolis, or anywhere else in Maryland, the experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Hyatt & Weber Injury Law can provide you with a complimentary evaluation of your case to assess what went wrong, figure out whether the healthcare providers involved could or should have acted differently, and determine whether you are entitled to receive compensation for any damages caused by the healthcare provider’s negligence. Our attorneys are dedicated to a thorough investigation of all medical evidence and cater our representation to the unique needs of each client’s individual circumstances. Please call us today at 866-590-8719 or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation to discuss your case at our Annapolis office.