Malpractice As A Result Of Mistakes By Radiologists
Radiology malpractice is more common than many people realize. Over 80 million radiology examinations are performed in the United States every year. These radiology examinations include Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Computed Tomography (CT or CAT scan), Positron Emission Tomography (PET scan), and x-ray studies also known as plain radiographs. Given the immense volume of imaging studies and high expectations on radiologists to interpret those studies with speed and accuracy, it’s no surprise radiology is the eighth most common medical specialty to be implicated in a medical malpractice claim.
Research shows radiologists misinterpret or miss findings entirely on 3%-5% of radiology studies each day. This means that radiologists around the world are reaching the wrong or incomplete conclusion 40 million times each year.
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Examples Of Radiology Malpractice Cases We Have Handled:
Radiologists are trained to look at every part of each image when they review a radiology study. Likewise, while a physician must identify the “indication” or reason why they are ordering the exam and communicate the indication to the radiologist, the radiologist must look for and report all abnormal findings, whether or those findings are related to the reason the treating physician ordered the exam. For example, if a patient’s physician orders a chest x-ray to look for signs of a pneumothorax (collapsed lung), and the radiologist, separate and apart from the pneumothorax, discovers an abnormal mass, the radiologist must report the mass to the physician who ordered the study even though the mass has no relationship radiologically to the collapsed lung.
Unexpected findings discovered on radiology exams like the mass in the above example are known as “incidental” findings or “incidentalomas.” Such findings are deemed incidental because they are unrelated to the reason for the exam, but may nevertheless have significance to the health of the patient. Radiologists are expected to identify incidental findings apparent on radiology images.
One of the most frequent and devastating mistakes in radiology is the failure to identify a potentially cancerous mass. Some of the most common types of cancers which are missed on radiology studies include colorectal carcinoma on barium enema studies, tumors of the bone on plain x-rays, and breast nodules or tumors on screening mammography. However, probably the most common form of delayed diagnosis of cancer comes in the form of missed lesions of the lung on plain x-ray. (Pinto 2010). The rate by which radiologists miss nodules or other lesions on x-ray images that are later diagnosed as lung cancer has been reported to range from 12% to 90%.
Cost of Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim
Our legal consultations are always free unless we recover money for you. During the course of our investigation into your medical malpractice claim, we advance any costs that we deem necessary in the proper handling of your case. If we do not recover money for you, you do not have to return any of the costs incurred associated with your case.
This is called the Contingent Fee.
Settlements & Awards
In many medical malpractice cases a settlement is reached without trial. In order to determine and agree upon the amount of a settlement, the following factors are considered:
Time Limits on Filing Medical Malpractice Claims
The law limits the amount of time you have in which to file a medical malpractice case in Pennsylvania.
Have you or somebody you love been seriously injured due to a radiology mistake? Do you have unanswered questions? We’re here to help you get answers.