Florida Medical Malpractice Mistakes by Practice Area: Radiology
As a medical specialty, radiology is a major contributor to the diagnosis process by Florida health care providers. Unfortunately, the key role of medical imaging also means that it can be the basis of diagnosis errors. The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) reports that the rate of incorrect or delayed diagnoses could be as high as 10 to 15 percent, with some studies placing it as high as one in five patients. It is also disturbing to note that the frequency of errors in medical imaging has not fluctuated since they were first analyzed – more than 60 years ago.
Diagnosis discrepancies are harmful to patients due to missed opportunities to treat a medical condition, but also because they could be subjected to treatment they did not need. If you or a loved one suffered harm from a radiology mistake, it is crucial to talk to a South Florida doctor errors attorney as soon as possible. Some background information may also be helpful.
Overview of Diagnostic Errors in Radiology: The process of obtaining, capturing, and developing medical images from screenings is highly automated by lab technicians and computer software. The radiologist takes over when it comes to analyzing the results of x-rays, MRIs, CT scans, positron emission tomography (PET), and related technologies. Medical imaging interpretation is not suitable for automation; human evaluation and the associated cognitive processes are required to provide accurate diagnoses.
Of course, with the notion of interpretation comes the potential for mistakes – which in turn lead to diagnosis errors. When radiologist carelessness is a factor in misdiagnosis and ultimately leads to patient harm, Florida medical malpractice laws provide injured patients with remedies.
Common Mistakes by Radiologists: Because the human factor is so important in radiology, the most frequent errors are linked to medical imaging interpretation. There are two categories of mistakes:
- Perceptual Errors: RSNA defines this mistake as one that occurs when a radiologist reviews images and does not detect the presence of an abnormality. A perceptual error may be malpractice if another radiologist reads the same image and identifies the medical discrepancy. These are the most common mistakes in medical imaging, estimated to account for around 60 to 80 percent of all radiology errors.
- Cognitive Errors: This type of mistake results when the radiologist does note a finding within the image, but does not properly interpret what it means. By dismissing the abnormality as non-consequential, it is not addressed through the diagnosis process in which the radiologist and other physicians participate. A cognitive error tends to “trickle down” and lead to misdiagnosis.
A Miami Medical Malpractice Lawyer Can Explain Your Legal Options
Radiologist mistakes are a form of medical malpractice under Florida law, so you may qualify to recover compensation for your losses when an error leads to misdiagnosis. For more information on your remedies and the legal process, please contact the Miami doctor error lawyers at Freidin Brown, P.A. at our offices. We can set up a free consultation to review your circumstances and advise you on your rights.