Consequences of Radiology Errors
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Nancy J. Winkler with Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C..
Radiology encompasses most diagnostic, image-guided techniques, such as the use of X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, and more to identify a health problem or injury and decide on a suitable treatment plan. Radiology plays a significant part in the treatment and recovery process for patients; it’s easy to see how an error in radiology could significantly impact a patient’s health. When radiology errors occur as a result of negligence on the part of medical staff, causing injury to a patient, this could be a case of medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional such as a doctor, nurse, surgeon, or medical facility, such as a clinic, hospital, or emergency room, does not exercise a proper standard of care, which results in the serious injury or death of a patient. Unfortunately, radiology errors are not an uncommon type of medical malpractice. When radiology errors occur, the radiologist is most often liable for resulting damages. If you or a loved have suffered from a misdiagnosis due to an avoidable radiology error, reach out to a medical malpractice attorney and learn more about your options for physical and financial recovery.
According to Aidoc, a developer of computer-aided triage systems, the global average for diagnostic radiology errors annually is 40 million.
Radiology may be used to detect a wide variety of health problems in patients. Broken bones, heart conditions, lung conditions, blood clots, gastrointestinal conditions, brain damage, and more may be identified with the use of radiology. Cancers make up nearly half of all misdiagnosis resulting from radiology errors, with breast cancer being the most common according to John Hopkins Medicine. In fact, nearly half of all breast cancer patients who seek a second opinion leave with a changed or refined diagnosis. This is why it’s a good idea to always seek a second opinion if there is any doubt as to the veracity of a diagnosis made with radiology.
Misdiagnosis is not always a result of radiology errors.
It should be noted that although medical malpractice is a common cause of radiology errors and thus resulting damages, it is not the only cause. Not every misdiagnosis case is considered malpractice. Often a radiologist can perform every test correctly and do their best to correctly interpret the results, only to later find that complications made the diagnosis ineffective or incorrect. In these situations where the standard of care was clearly met, and an unfortunate but unavoidable error occurred, it may be possible that no one is liable for resulting damages. Equipment failure is another element in radiology errors, though not a common one. However, if a piece of radiology equipment failed due to a lack of maintenance or attention from the healthcare provider, that provider may be liable for damages which occur as a result of misdiagnosis.
If you or a loved one suffered a new or worsened injury or health condition due to radiology error, seek legal counsel to discuss your eligibility for a claim. Some radiology errors are unavoidable, but if there is a chance medical malpractice may have been involved in a harmful misdiagnosis, don’t wait to learn about the options for recovery which may be available to you and your family.