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Impact of Failing to Read an MRI, X-Ray, or Mammogram Correctly

May 22, 2021

If you were injured as a result of a diagnostic error, call the Pittsburgh medical malpractice lawyers at Matzus Law for a consultation.

Radiology scans are used to diagnose a wide variety of injuries and diseases, including broken bones, ligament and tendon tears, and cancer. Examples of radiology scans include MRIs, X-rays, mammograms, CAT scans, and ultrasounds. The doctors who specialize in interpreting the results of radiology scans are called radiologists, while the actual scans themselves are usually performed by radiology technicians. When these professionals fail to properly read and interpret an MRI, X-ray, or mammogram, they may end up missing signs that a patient is suffering from a serious medical condition, delaying necessary treatment and allowing those medical conditions to progress and thereby put the patient at risk of disability or even death.

Common Examples of Radiology Errors

Some of the most frequent causes of radiology errors by technicians and radiologists include:

  • Failing to utilize proper imaging techniques, resulting in an inadequate or unusable scan
  • Failing to properly interpret scans
  • Failing to refer back to a patient’s prior radiology scans
  • Not confirming orders and instructions from a patient’s referring physician
  • Failing to give appropriate recommendations for follow-up scans or treatment

Read more: Types Of Medical Diagnostic Errors

Consequences of Failing to Properly Read Radiology Scans

Failing to properly read radiology scans such as mammograms, X-rays, or MRI may result in diseases such as cancer going undiagnosed. While a radiology scan might catch cancer at an earlier stage where it can be more easily treated and give the patient a better prognosis, failing to properly read a scan and timely diagnose the cancer may allow the disease to progress and spread throughout the body. A more advanced stage of cancer becomes much more difficult to treat, often requiring harsh chemotherapy or radiation treatments that can severely impact quality of life and potentially reduce the patient’s life expectancy. 

Misreading X-rays and MRIs can lead to other medical consequences, such as failing to diagnose a bone fracture or ligament or tendon damage. When these injuries go untreated, it can lead to more severe damage that may require surgical intervention and may leave a patient with permanent loss of mobility, range of motion, or motor control. 

Read more: Can Misdiagnosis Create a Medical Malpractice Claim in Pennsylvania?

What Can You Be Compensated for If You Suffer Medical Malpractice?

If a physician fails to properly read your X-ray, MRI, or mammogram and misses a medical condition that goes untreated, resulting in you suffering harm, you may be entitled to pursue compensation for:

  • Additional or more expensive treatment necessitated by the misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis
  • Lost income or loss of earning capacity due to the delayed diagnosis
  • Additional pain and suffering caused by more intensive treatments required due to the delayed diagnosis
  • Reduced life expectancy or loss of quality of life due to a more advanced medical condition

Pursuing a claim for medical malpractice due to a failure to properly read a radiology scan often requires experienced legal representation. An attorney will be able to bring in medical experts who can review your record and radiology scans to offer an opinion as to how your treating providers failed to properly read your radiology scans and how you were injured by that failure. 

Read more: Common Examples of Hospital Negligence

Contact A Medical Malpractice Attorney for a Consultation About Your Diagnostic Error Case in Pennsylvania

Were you or a loved one injured due to failure to perform an MRI or other type of diagnostic scan in Pennsylvania? Then you need to talk to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible for guidance on how to proceed. The Pittsburgh diagnostic error attorneys at Matzus Law LLC are prepared to assist you with your legal claim. We represent victims of negligent surgeons, doctors, nurses, and pharmacists throughout Pennsylvania, including Butler, Cranberry Township, Greensburg, and Washington. Call us today at (412) 206-5300 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation. Our main office is located at 310 Grant St., Suite 3210, Pittsburgh, PA 15219.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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