Account For Most, If Not All, of All Radiology-Related Medical Malpractice Lawsuits, Says Top New York Medical Malpractice Lawyer
“The Achilles heel in medical malpractice cases involving radiologists,” Edward P. Milstein, partner in the top New York medical malpractice law firm of Dankner Milstein, P.C., said, “are errors in the correct interpretation of medical images that radiologists produce — errors that can lead to failures by the radiologist, or a doctor, to accurately diagnose potentially life-threatening illness thereby causing a delay in treatment.”
According to Milstein, when errors by a radiologist do occur that can form the basis of a medical malpractice lawsuit, it’s most frequently or almost always the failure to read the study correctly, and the failure to communicate with the patient, or his or her doctor, in a timely manner.
Milstein said the most common interpretation errors radiologists make relate to failure to diagnose a lesion, which may represent cancer. Failure to identify abnormalities and misinterpretation of radiologic images account for most, if not all, radiology-related medical malpractice cases, he said.
Findings of a survey published last year by a group of medical insurance agencies revealed that the majority of medical malpractice lawsuits involving radiologists were brought about as a result of a failure to diagnose breast cancer on mammography, failure to diagnose lung cancer on chest radiographs and failure to diagnose fractures on skeletal radiographs.
“Most physicians who order radiology tests,” Milstein explained, “know the next appropriate procedure to suggest when an abnormality is found on an imaging study. However, serious health problems can arise for the patient when radiologists fail to properly interpret imaging studies and doctors are unaware of the seriousness of the patient’s condition.
Most radiologists cover themselves by adding the phrase “malignancy or neoplasm cannot be ruled out.”
If you believe you have been a victim of medical malpractice as a result of errors made by a radiologist, feel free to call or contact us by phone or e-mail to discuss your concerns with one of our lawyers.