What is radiology malpractice?
The practice of radiology can be broken down into two categories: diagnostic and interventional. A diagnostic radiologist is a medical doctor who reviews imaging studies to diagnose illness and injury. An interventional radiologist is a medical doctor who reviews imaging, but who also performs minimally invasive interventional procedures to treat certain medical conditions. Both specialists can cause radiology malpractice, which may result in devastating injury or death.
Most people have undergone radiology imaging. We are relieved when the radiologist says there isn’t anything serious to be concerned about. But what if the radiologist is wrong? One study found that radiologists make errors quite commonly. Some of the more frequent causes of medical malpractice for radiologists include vascular injury, errors of diagnosis, and failure to recommend additional imaging studies.
What types of errors do radiologists make?
Diagnostic radiologists miss findings on imaging studies they should have made. Sometimes the error is caught and corrected to prevent the patient from suffering an adverse event. Other times, the error is never caught and the patient suffers a serious medical event like an internal bleed, a stroke, or a missed cancerous tumor. In these circumstances, the injuries are preventable if the radiologist simply made the proper diagnosis. Likewise, interventional radiologists miss findings on imaging studies. The difference though can be more devastating if the radiologist is performing an interventional procedure and commits medical malpractice. When interventional radiologists perform their procedures, they insert tubes into and through our arteries and veins to get to the area of our body that needs treatment. While doing this, the radiologist can puncture a blood vessel, or completely occlude it, causing a stroke, a heart attack, or other vascular injuries. Any of these injuries can be life-threatening or result in permanent, catastrophic injury.
If you or a loved one have been injured by a radiologist, contact the experienced medical malpractice lawyers at Snyder & Wenner now to fight for you at 602-224-0005.