Misreading X-Rays Can Cause Serious Personal Injuries

Medical Malpractice Mistakes

Reading an x-ray, MRI, or other imaging study is not exactly like reading a book. Yet, you can still misread these x-ray, MRI, or other imaging studies. Misreading one of these imaging studies can be medical malpractice because it can result in serious injury to a victim.

Particularly with x-rays, which are one of the easiest imaging studies to take, a misreading here can really effect the course of treatment a physician performs on a patient. This cannot be more true when it comes to reviewing a possible broken bone and performing surgery. The more complicated the area which is being repaired, such as the hip, shoulder, wrist, or ankle, the more essential it is for the x-ray to be 1) taken accurately, and 2) read properly.

This is because, when a surgeon is relying on a misread or poorly taken x-ray, the surgeon will be making incisions and treatment decisions off these mistakes. This can be very dangerous and result in debilitating injuries. Take, for example, a spinal fusion. The x-ray can help the surgeon make landmark decisions where to begin incisions. The x-ray can also demonstrate where the injuries are, such as a calcified disc, herniated disc, or ruptured disc. But when the x-ray is done wrong, it can be difficult to determine where the injury is and it can be easy for a surgeon is perform a wrong-site surgery.

Misread x-rays really should never happen. The x-ray technician should generate a preliminary report for the radiologist to review and form an impression. Once that report is completed, it should go to the ordering physician who should further review and assess the findings made. Thus, an x-ray should be reviewed several times before it is acted upon. Mistakes here can really just be due to incompetent healthcare providers, mistakes, and laziness for not making an independent assessment.

When it comes to reading x-rays for possible broken bones, failure to properly read the x-rays and find the broken bones can actually result in worsening the injuries. That is, a broken bone can be left broken and the patient continues to use said broken bone without it properly mending. This can result in it fusing back together improperly, damaging nearby structures like flesh, tendons, or nerves, and even requiring a surgery having to re-break the bone. Thus, this can result in serious, additional pain and suffering which is unnecessary.

But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at jfisher@fishermalpracticelaw.com. You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.