While the United States is home to some of the best doctors in the world, no one is immune to making mistakes. Reading x-rays and computed tomography (CT) scans may be one of the more common duties of a physician, but that doesn’t mean no errors can be made.
Read on to learn about the risks of misread x-rays and CT scans.
Serious Consequences Can Result
When a doctor, radiologist, or other medical professional misreads an x-ray or CT scan, lifelong consequences or even death can be the result.
Take the story of Jennifer Drumm, for example. She went to the hospital because she was experiencing the worst headache of her life. Her doctor immediately ordered a CT scan of her brain.
The scan was then sent to an outside company to be read and analyzed, which has become a common practice in the medical field. Through the process of teleradiology, the hospital conducted the CT scan and sent a digital copy to a radiologist four hours away. The radiologist ruled out a hemorrhage but found a mass in the left temporal lobe, which was identified as a possible tumor.
Since the diagnosis wasn’t life-threatening, Drumm was sent home. A few hours later, after trying to get through the night, she called an ambulance and went back to the hospital. This time, the hospital ordered a more detailed CT that used contrast dye.
The detailed scan revealed a ring around the mass, which was notated in the report from the third-party radiologist that was sent back to the hospital. What was not noted in the report, however, was what the ring could mean. That told the medical personnel at the hospital there was no immediate action that needed to be taken.
But that was not the case. Drumm was sent home again, but this time, she was found a day later unconscious on her bathroom floor. The abscess in her brain had ruptured.
Drumm was left in a coma for 11 weeks. She survived but endured permanent damage to her memory, intellect, and ability to function.
This is merely one instance of how a misread x-ray or scan can impact a patient for the rest of their life. Drumm was lucky to escape the experience with her life, but others are not so fortunate.
We Can Help
If you suspect that your x-ray or CT scan has been misread, our team may be able to help. Our attorneys at Garau Germano, P.C. are highly experienced in the field of medical malpractice law and have helped hundreds of people in similar situations attain justice. Let us see if we can help you, too. Don’t hesitate—contact our office with your case right away.