Could a radiologist be to blame for a diagnostic error?

On Behalf of | Nov 25, 2022 | Medical Malpractice |

When something goes wrong with your medical care and you end up with a missed diagnosis or misdiagnosis, who is most likely to blame? Would you believe it could be the radiologist who took your x-rays, MRI or other scans?

In 2021, roughly 71% of radiologists said that they’d been the subject of a malpractice suit. While many of them may have been named alongside patients’ physicians and other medical providers, the fact that only 51% of physicians have been accused of negligent care tells you that radiology may be where the real mistakes happen.

How do radiology mistakes lead to medical problems?

Realistically, doctors can only work with the information that they’re given. While some may have unique skills when it comes to interpreting radiology images, the vast number of physicians have to rely on the radiologist’s skills.

So, what kind of mistakes do radiologists make? Consider these:

  • Missing something (like a tumor, a broken bone or some other issue) because it was slightly outside of the anticipated area
  • Failing to take complete clinical information from the patient so that they could do a fully informed scan and interpretation of the results
  • Simply overlooking an abnormality entirely or identifying the abnormality but not clearly communicating their findings to the physician
  • Finding abnormalities on the scans but attributing it to the wrong cause either due to complacency, poor reasoning or poor skill
  • Failing to compare current scans to previous scans to look for changes that would have revealed an abnormality

Mistakes by radiologists can lead to complications from unnecessary treatments, delays in diagnoses and poor outcomes due to the progression of diseases.

Medical malpractice claims are often complicated because of the number of providers who may have been party to the mistakes. That’s why it’s so important to know everything you can about your rights and your legal options when you’re suffering.