The failure of a medical professional to closely read an X-ray and act upon those results can create dire consequences for a patient.
Recently, a Fresno jury found a dentist negligent for failing to properly read an X-ray scan that revealed a growing tumor in a 23-year-old patient. The dentist took more than seven sets of X-rays over a period of 20 months and never identified the tumor. The failure to identify the tumor had drastic consequences — the patient’s jaw had to be removed and replaced with a metal bar leading to serious disfigurement and depression. In another recent case, medical negligence was found in part because of the failure of a doctor and hospital to properly interpret an X-ray and provide appropriate follow-up care. In that case, a boy who was vomiting and suffering headaches was given blood tests and X-rays. However, no follow-up appointments were made. A full seven months passed before he was diagnosed with cancer, and he later died. In total, he was taken to the hospital four times in seven months before finally receiving a diagnosis.
Radiology procedures are designed to provide doctors with a good view of what is happening in a person’s body. X-rays and other radiologic procedures, such as mammograms and MRIs, can reveal broken bones, internal bleeding, tumors and other maladies. To help diagnose and discover medical conditions early on, however, the X-rays must be properly read. When that doesn’t happen, treatment is delayed and a patient’s condition can worsen, leading to liability on the part of the medical professionals who had a duty to properly conduct and review the X-rays.
Common instances of negligence involving radiologic testing include:
- Misread mammograms
- Misread X-rays
- Misread MRIs
- Misread CAT scans
- Misread ultrasounds
Often the radiologist or physician ordering the radiologic test can be held liable for the improper reading of an X-ray or other radiologic test. If you or someone you know has suffered injury because of a doctor’s failure to properly read a radiologic test, contact a skilled and trustworthy San Diego medical malpractice attorney to learn about your possible legal remedies right away.