Obtaining the correct diagnosis is crucial to effective medical care. Radiologists are often an important factor in the diagnostic process. The use of medical imaging such as x-rays, MRIs, CTs, ultrasounds, and sonograms by radiologists is critical in the diagnosis and treatment of some patients. A correct diagnosis is important to a patient’s health, and when a radiologist’s error leads to a misdiagnosis, the results can be tragic and it may be radiological malpractice.
Errors in Reading Images
A radiologist is trained to read and interpret the results of medical imaging devices. Other physicians cooperate with radiologists to help determine the correct diagnosis. When a physician asks a radiologist to perform a diagnostic test, they rely on the radiologist to properly read the image. Failure to properly read diagnostic images is the most common error by radiologists. Radiologists review diagnostic images to determine if there is an abnormality that may be a sign of a health condition. These abnormalities can range from bone fractures to signs of cancer.
If a radiologist makes an error in reading a diagnostic image, this can result in a missed diagnosis or a misdiagnosis. Commonly missed diagnoses that can result from radiologist errors include lung cancer, breast cancer, vascular disease, and spinal fractures. An appropriate and timely diagnosis is essential to patients receiving the treatment they need.
In addition, if an image is unclear or difficult to read, the radiologist has an obligation to order a new image. Moving forward with poor quality scans can lead to a misdiagnosis. This may constitute malpractice.
Failures in Communication
In addition to properly reading images, radiologists have an obligation to communicate results to a patient’s physician. Physicians rely on information from the radiologist in order to make a diagnosis. If a radiologist fails to communicate their readings to a physician properly, a diagnosis may be missed and may be radiological malpractice. A radiologist should always call attention to any abnormalities in a scan and not just simply notate it on a patient’s chart.
Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you’ve been injured as a result of a radiologist’s error, you should have an experienced medical malpractice attorney evaluate your case. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we’ve been helping New Yorkers injured by medical malpractice for over 50 years. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.