Misread X-Ray, Slides, and Ultrasounds

Over the last several decades medical technology has been developing very rapidly, with advancements in medicine and surgical procedures occurring all the time, with digital imaging and the use of robotics bringing about huge improvements in the success rates of surgical procedures. Among the areas of medical technology that have undergone the greatest change has been the transition from film x-rays to digital imaging. Prior to the development of the more modern digital imaging, x-ray films were developed much like photographic film: using a series of chemical baths in a darkroom, and mistakes in their processing would often result in the films being developed improperly. The proliferation of modern digital imaging has resulted in more accurate images at a reduced cost. The key factor in both these technologies, however, has remained the same: a doctor or radiologist is still needed to read and interpret the results of the imaging. Risks of human error are still present, and misinterpreted x-rays can still lead to serious injury or misdiagnosis of a patient.

The purpose of any of these sorts of radiological procedures is to help physicians get a better understanding of what sort of injury or illness is present inside of a patient’s body without resorting to exploratory surgical procedures. The use of x-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans, and MRI procedures provide a wealth of information that would not otherwise be available to a medical professional attempting to treat a patient with only their naked eye and external physical examinations. Imaging procedures can reveal a variety of different conditions, like tumors, broken bones, and internal bleeding with a level of detail that would amaze a layperson. X-rays, MRIs, mammograms, ultrasounds, and other common radiological procedures are only tools however: in order for them to be effective in the diagnosis and treatment of patients the results of these tests must be properly interpreted to result in a correct diagnosis that will allow proper treatment of a patient. And when they are misinterpreted it has the potential to cause a number of issues from delayed diagnoses, to misdiagnoses, that can result in the patient’s condition getting worse, or even in some cases causing additional injuries. In these cases a patient can often be able to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit to recover for any injuries that they may have sustained.

Where do radiologic mistakes come from?

Many instances of medical malpractice occur because a victim was injured due to mistakes that involved improperly read x-rays, ultrasounds, or other radiological images. Often this is due to an injury or medical condition going unnoticed, or having been misdiagnosed and treated improperly, which can result in additional complications and in sometimes even death. Common errors that involve radiological imaging and related tests include things like:

  • Misread x–rays
  • Misread mammograms
  • Misread CT or CAT scans
  • Misread MRIs
  • Misread Ultrasounds

If any of these tests are improperly interpreted by a radiologist or doctor it can result in a delay in a patient’s diagnosis, or a misdiagnosed condition. Some of the worst case scenarios can involve a patient’s medical team failing to see internal bleeding or a blood clot, which can have a high probability in resulting in a wrongful death. The interpretation of MRI images can be especially important because they are used to diagnose internal injuries, often in soft tissues, such as injuries to the brain.

Throughout our practice, our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers have handled a number of cases involving misread radiological screenings. For example, we settled a case for $3.6 million on behalf of the family of a 29–year–old man who died after a suburban Chicago radiologist misread an X–ray and failed to identify a large tumor growing in his body.

Have you suffered an injury due to a misdiagnosis or incorrect interpretation of a radiological image?

If you believe that you or a loved one has suffered injury or death because of a radiological error in Illinois, please call us for a free and confidential consultation at 877-374-1417 or 312–332–2872 or contact us online and a medical malpractice attorney will get back to you shortly.