Many Houston residents go to the doctor each year with a medical condition. Doctors are skilled at examining their patients and diagnosing their condition. Most of the time they get it right. But occasionally diagnostic mistakes are made and a patient receives a wrong diagnosis. Sometimes these are the results of radiology errors.
Radiology is very important in diagnosing what is wrong with a patient. Using advanced technology, doctors are able to see inside a patient and determine if a patient has cancer, broken bones, or many other conditions. But when a medical condition is missed by a radiologist, it can have negative effects on a patient. These can include a patient not receiving treatment for their cancer in a timely manner, including chemotherapy. Breast cancer is the most medical condition in radiology, followed by lung cancer and bone fractures. In addition to missing a serious medical condition, communication can also lead to a missed diagnosis. If radiology reports do not make it back to the physician, a delay in diagnosis and delayed treatment can occur. Or if the doctor fails to notify their patient of the radiology report, treatment can be delayed.
It is important for patients to receive the most accurate information regarding their condition as soon as possible so that treatment can begin. Although, patients don’t want to hear they have cancer as it is an understandably terrifying diagnosis, the sooner the cancer is found and treatment begun, the better outcome a patient may have. If a patient believes their medical condition was missed because of a radiology error, they may want to speak with a legal professional skilled in medical malpractice. Compensation may be available for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages.
No one expects they will be the victim of a medical error. But thousands of Americans are seriously injured or even die because of a medical error each year in the United States. These patients have legal rights to hold their medical providers responsible for their negligence.
Source: diagnosticimaging.com, “Failure to diagnose and communicate in radiology“, Liza Haar, Sept. 15, 2016