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Erroneous Radiology Reports are Common but Avoidable

Rediology ReportsThere is pressure in all industries to perform jobs with precision, accuracy, and efficiency. However, very few careers are as unforgiving as those in the medical industry. Incorrect bank transactions are repairable and faulty weather reports lead to a change in plans. However, a medical misdiagnosis can create a life-or-death situation.

The medical industry is multifaceted, meaning, it is made up of many parts. Typically patients communicate directly with a primary care physician for treatment of day-to-day ailments, annual checkups, or general care. When an illness requires further investigation, the physician depends on an ancillary medical team, such as a radiologist. Communication between these professions is a critical component in proper diagnosis to avoid radiology misreads and other costly errors.

What Does a Radiologist do?

A radiologist is an expert consultant to your referring general physician. After completing medical school, your radiologist completed a four-year residency and probably a one or two-year fellowship program in a specialized field. These medical doctors specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of injury through:

  • X-Rays;
  • Computed Tomography (CT);
  • Magnetic Resonance Imagery (MRI);
  • Nuclear medicine;
  • Positron Emission Tomography (PET);
  • Fusion imaging; and
  • Ultrasound.
Radiologists Have a High Rate of Error

Radiologists are now expected to have an expanded repertoire of skills. Whereas their traditional role was to assist a physician in diagnosis of an injury, their role has now grown to include: diagnosticians in clinical management, interventionalists, and even a stand-in primary care physician. In addition to these increased demands, radiology as a whole is subjective. Lab results produce explicit numerical values that give a finite answer; however, image interpretation has room for discrepancy. A room full of these “experts” may all reach a different analysis. A radiologist is encouraged not to stare too long at any image, because the continued focus on any targeted area creates a “visual dwell” situation, increasing the likelihood of a false positive or a false negative. Accurate results often emerge in just a few seconds of image analysis. Alternately, too little time reviewing the image results in missed information.

Fallibility Does not Mean Approved Negligence

Although radiology tends to produce imperfect information, negligence is inexcusable. All too often, radiologists experience a work overload, forcing them to skim over images too quickly or become distracted during the transcription process. When this situation arises, mistakes occur.

If you or a loved one experienced a misdiagnosis due to a misread radiology report, it is in your best interest to contact a San Jose, CA radiology injury attorney. Corsiglia McMahon & Allard, L.L.P. will work closely with a medical team to research every facet of your case, holding all responsible parties financially accountable for your injuries. Contact us today at (408) 289-1417 to schedule your free initial consultation.

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My experience with Attorney Brad Corsiglia during my recent medical malpractice case was nothing short of amazing given the very stressful circumstances. I was fortunate to find Brad highly recommended from a mutual contact and from the very beginning of the process, Brad was truly engaged and knowledgeable in understanding my case and providing input on what avenues were available to me. Michelle M.