Radiology negligence is a type of medical malpractice that can occur during diagnostic imaging procedures.
Radiology is the branch of medicine that deals with imaging human anatomy for diagnostic purposes. When radiology negligence occurs, an imaging specialist will have either failed to take all necessary precautions or ignored potential risks. As a result, the patient has suffered some form of harm due to this negligence and is well within their rights to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
There are several different types of radiology negligence that can occur. Some are more common than others, but all are serious when they happen and are often addressed by the victim or their legal representative familiar with filing medical malpractice claims.
The most common types of radiology medical negligence include the following:
Diagnostic errors make up over 70% of radiology negligence cases, so it’s safe to say they’re a high radiologic malpractice litigation risk.
This kind of radiology malpractice is based on diagnostic errors or failure to diagnose accurately. They usually occur when a doctor misinterprets testing results or fails to evaluate them before making a diagnosis.
Diagnostic errors can lead to misdiagnosis and improper treatment decisions for many patients. For instance, the doctor may order imaging tests when it’s too late during treatment or might not even order the tests at all.
Diagnostic errors can also occur during the initial interpretation of an image or during follow-up testing, such as when a patient receives additional images after a CT scan that shows signs of cancer, but doctors do not inform them of this until later on down the road.
These mistakes can have painful consequences for patients, such as unnecessary surgery or medication, over-treatment or under-treatment of the diagnosed condition.
Misdiagnosis is another common cause of medical malpractice suits against radiologists. They occur when a doctor makes an incorrect assessment of your condition and offers a treatment plan based on that conclusion.
For example, if you go in for knee pain and your doctor tells you it’s just arthritis in your joints and recommends physical therapy instead of surgery, they have misdiagnosed. This error led to unnecessary time spent on physical therapy rather than having surgery done sooner on the problem area.
Knowledge errors are among the most common radiology malpractice cases. They occur when a doctor makes a mistake because they are unfamiliar with certain aspects of their practice area or field.
For example, if a patient comes in with symptoms that indicate they have breast cancer but the doctor fails to perform the correct tests or follow up on their findings, this could be considered a knowledge error.
Communication errors are another prevalent problem that often leads to medical malpractice lawsuits. In some cases, this can be due to a failure to communicate with patients. In other cases, it can result from miscommunication between physicians and radiologists or between radiologists themselves.
There was a misunderstanding between the doctor and the patient.
The most common type of communication error is one that occurs during the initial visit with a patient at the hospital or clinic. Sometimes, this involves an improper explanation of the procedure and its risks. In other cases, it may involve failing to explain to patients what they should expect when they return for their follow-up appointments.
In other cases, communication errors occur after patients leave the hospital or clinic before returning for follow-up care. For example, if there is a delay in sending test results to a physician’s office or practice, this can lead to misdiagnosis and unnecessary or inappropriate treatment for the patient.
There is a misunderstanding between doctors.
In addition to patient-physician miscommunication, there are also risks associated with miscommunication between radiologists or referring physicians and radiologists.
In some situations, this can lead to errors in treatment that may cause further harm to a patient’s health. For example, if doctors fail to diagnose cancer on an X-ray image, they may fail to begin treatment in time to prevent it from spreading.
Medication errors happen quite frequently and, as such, are a common cause of medical malpractice litigation. These errors are usually caused by a failure to follow proper procedures or a mistake while administering medication. There are many different types of medication errors that can occur.
The incorrect medication dosage can be fatal, even if it only has minor side effects. This is why it is crucial for radiologists to check their calculations and double-check their work before giving out any drugs.
Some patients can receive the incorrect drug. For example, the doctor might prescribe certain painkillers for the patient instead of an antibiotic or vice versa. In most cases, this type of mistake would not result in severe harm to the patient but could lead to complications.
It is also possible for a radiologist to give out drugs intended for another person entirely—or even someone else entirely. This mistake could result in severe injury or even death if not caught immediately.
The Bottom Line
You might consider it bad luck when you sustain an injury due to radiology negligence in your doctor’s office or hospital. However, the reality is that many hospitals do not prioritize patient safety, causing devastating effects on patients and their families.
If this happens to you or a loved one, you can seek compensation through a medical malpractice claim.
At Frischman & Rizza, we believe it is vital that all healthcare providers are held accountable for their actions and negligence. That’s why we specialize in medical malpractice cases and have years of medical malpractice law experience.
We can advise you on your rights and assist you with recovering financial damages for any costs and expenses incurred due to a radiologist’s negligence.
Call us today at (412) 291-9377, so we can put you in touch with one of our experienced medical malpractice attorneys.