When you go to the doctor, you trust that the care you are receiving meets a certain standard. When a care provider orders tests in order to get an accurate diagnosis of your medical condition, you assume that the administration of the test and interpretation of the results is accurate. Unfortunately, errors in radiology, one of the most common tools used to detect and diagnose cancer, could lead to patient harm.
Radiology is the use of certain types of imaging to see inside the human body, allowing doctors to see if there is cancer. When there is a problem with the imaging itself or how an Oregon doctor reads the results of the test, it could mean that a patient does not get an accurate diagnosis in a timely manner. When it comes to cancer, this could be the difference between effective treatment or the eventual death of the patient.
Problems with radiology
Radiology statistics indicate that most radiology malpractice cases involve oncology. These cases frequently involve allegations of diagnostic issues that led to a high level of harm. In fact, 44% of radiology cases involving diagnostic problems relate to cancer — a fact that is troubling after considering the fact that medical mistakes lead to millions of individuals suffering harm each year. The problems with oncologic radiology are so worrisome that some in the medical field believe that actions to address diagnostic errors are necessary.
In approximately 80% of oncology-related malpractice suits, misinterpreting images played a significant role. To address the problem, some suggest more training, certification requirements and more. Patient care should be the priority in any type of testing, but appropriate and accurate diagnostics is critical for cancer patients. Even a short delay in getting a diagnosis can have significant negative consequences on a patient’s prognosis.
Are you the victim of a medical mistake?
If you are the victim of a medical mistake, you have the right to fight for justice. You may be able to seek compensation through a medical malpractice claim, a process that allows victims to hold parties accountable for their pain and suffering. A diagnostic error may have caused you physical harm, a worsening of your medical condition and emotional duress, but you do not have to face it alone. An assessment of your potential malpractice case can help you understand the specific legal options available to you.