A Misread X-Ray, CT Scan, or MRI Can Have Serious and Sometimes Fatal Consequences
Radiologists may not use a scalpel or spend time in the operating room, but they do play a vital role in diagnosing and treating a wide range of patients, from those with symptoms of cancer to those with athletic injuries or traumatic brain injuries. Even a small mistake by a radiologist could be the difference between life or death for a patient – with many errors leading to serious illness and permanent injury.
At Gladstein Law, we understand both the role of the radiologist in a patient’s life, as well as how radiology mistakes can lead to a number of serious and lifelong consequences. More importantly, we understand Kentucky medical malpractice law, and how to secure compensation for radiology errors that involve negligence.
We offer the victims of radiology malpractice a free, confidential case review. Request one now by calling (800) 991-0474.
What is a Radiologist?
Physicians who treat and diagnose medical conditions by using different kinds of imaging technology are called radiologists. These types of imaging include x-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, ultrasounds, and magnetic resonance imaging scans (MRIs). Some radiologists also conduct minimally invasive, image-guided surgeries, and treat patients with radiation.
More than 30,000 radiologists practice in the United States today. They assist other physicians by interpreting imaging studies, in order to diagnose and treat health conditions. Some radiologists, called interventional radiologists, further their education so that they can perform invasive procedures.
Generally, radiologists have the very important job of seeing and diagnosing medical conditions as seen on x-rays, CT scans, and MRIs. Misreading these images can have devastating, painful, and even lethal results for patients.
Radiologists physicians are usually board certified by the American Board of Radiology or the American Osteopathic Board of Radiology.
Common Errors Made By Radiologists
Far too many people assume that x-rays, CT scans, and MRIs are easy to read and interpret, but in reality, pinpointing and correctly diagnosing medical conditions takes training, a close eye, and most importantly, an attentive radiologist. It is no surprise that errors are common in the field. According to one study on radiology errors published by Clinical Radiology, of over 300 radiologists questioned:
- Only two percent had not made an error in the past year.
- Only 20 percent kept a log of their errors.
- A shocking seven percent made 16 or more errors in the past year.
- Nine out of ten radiologists made between 9 and 15 mistakes in the past year.
- Only 60 percent of the doctors’ radiology departments held regular, education error meetings.
There are two major types of radiology errors: Errors involving reading scans and errors involving treating patients. The most common types of radiology medical malpractice errors include:
- Failure to diagnose cancer, such as a tumor.
- Failure to diagnose an orthopedic problem, such as a fracture.
- Failure to diagnose a brain injury or condition.
- Interpreting a study that is abnormal as normal.
- Interpreting a study that is normal as abnormal.
- Making an error during a radiation treatment.
- Making an error during an image-guided surgery.
Radiology Errors and Medical Malpractice
Radiology diagnostic errors are not uncommon – and no one can expect a doctor to perform perfectly, especially when he or she is interpreting a large number of scans each day. How can you know when a radiology error was medical malpractice, and when a radiology error was simply an excusable mistake?
Under medical malpractice law, doctors may be found negligent if they are not meeting a general standard of care. This standard of care is defined as the level at which the average, prudent provider in a given community would practice. In other words, for radiologists, it is how similarly qualified radiology practitioners would have read the scan or image in similar circumstances. If most other radiologists would have read your scan correctly, but your radiologist did not, you may have a valid Kentucky medical malpractice claim.
Contact An Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney About Your Radiology Error
If a radiologist’s negligence has injured you or a loved one, call Louisville personal injury lawyer Seth Gladstein at Gladstein Law Firm today. Our legal team has extensive experience handling these cases, and we will review your case at no cost or obligation to you. You can reach our offices by calling (502) 855-4177 or toll-free at (800) 911-0474. You can also fill out our online email form and we will get in touch with you to schedule your appointment, absolutely free of cost.
*Each case is different and the past record is no assurance that we will be successful in reaching a favorable result in any future case. Client pays costs only upon recovery.