Radiology Errors in Oregon

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When are Radiology Errors in Oregon Medical Malpractice?


While radiologists may not be patient facing, they have a critical job in the field of medicine. Their responsibility is to identify abnormalities on scans, even the most minor of abnormalities. Other physicians that are patient facing rely heavily on radiologists to identify abnormalities on scans so they can treat whatever illness or injury the patient has appropriately. While most radiologists are able to detect even the slightest of abnormalities, unfortunately there are radiologists who miss critical findings on scans, leading to serious repercussions for the patient, including wrongful death. According to government research, 4% of all scans read by radiologists are interpreted incorrectly. This equates to about 40 million errors every year. When this occurs, radiologists may be held liable for their negligence. But determining when radiology errors in Oregon become negligence and medical malpractice is another question.


In order to answer this, it is imperative to understand the role of a radiologist and how it plays into the care and treatment that a patient is entitled to under Oregon law.  This includes the care and treatment that a patient is entitled to under the standard of care, the legal requirements necessary for a healthcare provider to comply with when rendering care and treatment to a patient.


What is a Radiologist’s Role?


Radiologists main role as mentioned above is to read and interpret many different types of scans. Examples of these scans include the following:


  • Computerized Tomography (CT)
  • X-RAY
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Bone Scan
  • Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
  • Ultrasound


These scans are used to detect a variety of things, including internal bleeding after an accident, fractures, masses that may be cancerous, aneurysms, foreign objects, benign masses, and organ abnormalities as well as many other conditions.


How Can Radiological Errors be Caused by Medical Malpractice?


Unfortunately, like any physician radiologists make errors as well. When radiology errors in Oregon cause personal injuries, it could be due to medical malpractice.  While some errors may not result in patient harm, there are errors that could lead to someone’s death or serious harm if not detected on the scan in a timely manner. While some mistakes may be due to inexperience, many mistakes are made due to carless interpretation of scan results. This could be avoided if the radiologist read the scan in a thorough manner which is how every scan should be read. The most common radiologist errors include the following:


  • Failing to identify a critical finding (i.e. internal bleeding, malignant tumor, etc.)
  • Misinterpretation of results
  • Failing to relay critical results to the treating physician in a timely manner
  • Failing to take adequate images (i.e the wrong view is taken which misses the abnormality)
  • Misdiagnosing of a condition based on imaging
  • Miscommunication between the radiologist and radiology staff, leading to errors


How Can Radiologists Cause Harm to Patients?


While as mentioned above that radiologists do not typically interact with patients, their role is still quite critical and they too can cause serious patient harm including injury or death. Some of the most common ways radiologists can cause harm includes the following:


  • Failing to identify internal bleeding – this is incredibly serious because internal bleeding must be treated in a timely manner. Failure to resolve internal bleeding could lead to death of a patient
  • Failing to identify a malignant mass (cancer) – If cancer is missed on a scan, this could lead to a patient suffering far longer. The biggest problem with missing cancer on a scan is that it allows the cancer time to spread, leading to potential death of the patient
  • Strokes and brain injuries – These problems must be treated in a timely manner. If not treated appropriately, it can lead to serious brain damage or death


Ask our Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyers for Help


If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice contact the Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form.  We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.


Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton,  Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles,  St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.


We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take medical malpractice cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.

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