Failure to Properly Read / Interpret Radiological Film
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Radiology has undeniably helped advance the medical field, but when films are misinterpreted, a medical mistake may very well ensue. As medical technology continues to advance, CT scans and MRI’s have provided a means for non-invasive diagnosis and treatment for many diseases and conditions.
Radiologists will interpret these diagnostic films and provide a report to your doctor. Patients typically never interact with radiologist, which is why many never realize that malpractice may have occurred—even with a medical professional they never interacted with. In other cases, an orthopedic surgeon or neurosurgeon may read and interpret radiological films, which often serve as the cornerstone for your entire treatment plan. That means if they are wrong at all, it could greatly impact your health and allow your actual condition to worsen.
From a failure to diagnose cancer to a misunderstanding of a patient’s chronic condition, improperly reading these films due to negligence may have dire consequences.
The Law Office of Snyder & Snyder, P.A. serves clients in Baltimore and the surrounding areas. Call our medical malpractice attorneys for qualified counsel!
Questions on Radiological Film Reading & Malpractice
What Is a Radiologist?
A radiologist is a medical specialist who evaluates and interprets diagnostic films, including ultrasounds, sonograms, mammograms, MRIs, CT scans, and x-rays. Numerous hospital patients rely on a radiologist’s interpretation of these films for appropriate diagnosis and medical treatment. Typically, the radiologist will notify a physician about the diagnostic interpretation of the film. Communication errors can result in misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose significant medical conditions.
Is the Failure to Properly Interpret Radiological Films Medical Malpractice?
When a person entrusted with your health care fails to properly interpret radiological films, your health is at stake. When this failure to properly interpret the films leads to a medical injury, this error may amount to medical malpractice. A medical malpractice attorney can help you determine if your injury was caused by the health care professional’s failure to interpret the film or other medical negligence.
How Are Radiological Films Useful in a Health Care Setting?
In recent years, less invasive medical procedures have been recognized as effective alternatives to diagnose many conditions and diseases. Ultrasounds, MRIs, CT scans, and sonograms are effective tools for diagnosing a number of conditions. Failure to accurately read and interpret the radiological films can result in misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose a serious medical condition, such as cancer.
What Types of Medical Conditions Can Be Missed?
A radiologist who fails to properly read or interpret radiological film may miss:
- Fractures of the arm, leg, wrist, spine, ribs or hip
- Presence of tumors or cancer
- Internal bleeding
- Organ perforation
- Intestinal perforation
- Problematic prenatal conditions
How Common Are Radiological Errors?
According to a study published in the September 2007 edition of the American Journal of Roentgenology, approximately 4% of radiological films are misinterpreted. While most of these diagnostic errors are minor, some of these errors can cause patients to experience significant injuries. According to NBC News, a number of medical malpractice suits arise out of situations where a radiological film is sent to a nearby county, or to a radiologist not working at the hospital. In these instances, communication between physicians and “teleradiologists” can fall short, and important facets of patient medical history can be lost.
Misinterpretation Led to a Delay in Diagnosis. What Are My Rights?
If your doctor failed to read your radiological film appropriately and you suffered a significant delay in treatment, you may have a legal case for medical malpractice. A medical malpractice attorney can help you assess the situation and seek compensation for your injuries.
How Can an Attorney Prove a Radiologist Failed to Interpret the Films?
Medical malpractice attorneys are skilled at investigating, researching and proving cases of medical negligence. A medical malpractice lawyer will rely on the opinion of a skilled radiologist who has experience reading and interpreting radiological film. This medical expert’s opinion is extremely important to determine whether the medical professional deviated from the established standard of care associated with the profession. If the expert is able to make the case that the radiologist should have been able to recognize and diagnose a condition based on radiological films, then you may have a legal argument for negligence.
Do I Really Need a Lawyer for My Case?
If you bring a claim for medical negligence against a hospital or insurance company, you may be offered a settlement agreement. While the settlement offer may seem like a victory, it is important to remember that their goal is to pay as little money as possible. You may quickly find out that the sum that you are offered is not adequate to pay for your growing medical expenses.
A medical malpractice lawyer will have experience taking on powerful legal teams and proving medical negligence. Your attorney will help level the playing field so that you will have a chance at recovering enough money to pay for your past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages you experienced due to the negligence of a health care provider.
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The Law Office of Snyder & Snyder, P.A. is ready to stand up for your rights and advocate on your behalf. Do not go without legal representation during this trying time. Our Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers have the legal expertise, skill, and passion needed to secure maximum compensation on your behalf.
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