Patients depend on hospital staff such as nurses and doctors and medical care practitioners to perform their duties to the best of their abilities and on par with other medical organizations to offer quality medical care. However, medical professionals make grave errors sometimes, which could impact the well-being and health of a patient substantially.
There are two common errors that constitute medical malpractice as they might impact patient care. These are failure to properly read mammograms and X-rays. If a mammogram or X-rays is not read accurately, it could have serious consequences. If you or someone you know has been a victim of medical malpractice when it comes to failure to read mammograms or X-rays, you need to contact a medical malpractice lawyer immediately.
What Goes Wrong?
Certain policies that hospitals adopt which are concerned with diagnostic studies made in an emergency room setting, could lead to medical malpractice claims against the institution. Usually if a patient ends up in an emergency room, a treating physician will order an CAT scan, x-ray, or an MRI. There are times that the hospital's policy may allow the treating physician to read the diagnostic test.
If the physician misreads the test results, the patient may be discharged. Usually, tests such as X-rays are read and reviewed by radiologists. The patient should be immediately notified if the radiologist disagrees with the interpretation that the treating physician made. A potential medical malpractice case can arise if the problem has seriously worsened without treatment or if the hospital is unable to locate the discharged patient.
A low-level X-ray that is used to detect the presence of breast cancer is called a mammogram. A screening mammogram may be performed by X-ray technicians or if a lump of any other risk factor for breast cancer has been discovered, then they might run a more intensive diagnostic mammogram.
Once the X-ray of a patient is taken, the results of the X-ray will be read by a radiologist so that any masses, lumps, or any other possible warning signs of a cancerous growth are detected. There is a high level of focus that physicians reading X-rays must maintain. It is important that the patient's history and risk factors for breast cancer are taken into consideration, their previous X-ray results are carefully reviewed, and additional diagnostic tests are ordered if the X-ray results are a cause for concern.
When X-rays are not read properly, it possible that patients might suffer serious injuries or in some cases, even death. These diagnostic tools are used to detect several medical problems like fractures, broken bones, pneumonia, and lung cancer. Misreading X-rays may lead to many problems such as:
- Failure to properly treat a broken bone in a timely manner
- Failure to diagnose a cancerous tumor
- Failure to diagnose organ damage, an illness, or disease
Hospital staff and physicians may be liable for damages if they read mammograms and X-rays incorrectly. You should consult with a medical malpractice lawyer as soon as you have been a victim of such a case.