The Radiology Expert Witness & Failure To Diagnose

What areas may a radiology expert witness consult on? Radiologists analyze medical images, such as X-ray images, computed tomography (CT) scans, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. These medical professionals are trained to look for abnormalities. When a radiologist fails to diagnose a medical problem, the error or delay in diagnosis may result in allegations of medical negligence. The World Journal of Radiology states:

Radiologic problems that have led to medical malpractice lawsuits most frequently have been due to “failure to diagnose”. This means oversight of abnormalities or misinterpretation of radiologic images. These types of claims account for about 40%-54% of radiology-related medical malpractice cases.

In the case of Nicholas Figaro, 35, his heart condition was not diagnosed at Northwest Community Hospital and he was sent home the day after he was admitted. That evening he collapsed at home and died. Mrs. Figaro charged NCH, Chicago, with carelessness and negligence in not diagnosing her husband’s aortic dissection. An aortic dissection is a serious condition in which the inner layer of the aorta, the large blood vessel branching off the heart, tears. Blood surges through the tear, causing the inner and middle layers of the aorta to separate (dissect). If the blood-filled channel ruptures through the outside aortic wall, aortic dissection is often fatal (MayoClinic.org). Mrs. Figaro also found Dr. Vinay Singh negligent in reading her husband’s chest X-ray as normal. The case is Beth Figaro v. Northwest Community Hospital et al. Mr. Figaro’s estate was awarded $6.5M.

Proving negligence against a radiologist requires showing that a patient was injured due to the doctor failing to use the appropriate level of care that another radiologist would have used in the same or similar circumstances. The plaintiff may also charge the radiologist with failing to effectively and timely communicate a diagnosis to the treating physician. The radiology expert witness is trained to evaluate these allegations and present an unbiased report to the court. Contact ELITE Medical Experts to find the expert witness who understands the details of your medical negligence case.

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