There are all sorts of “pictures” that hospitals can take of patients these days. Years ago, the only types of images we had available were simple X-rays. Now there are much more specialized tests such as CT, MRI, angiograms, PET scan, ultrasound and like. Although the tests have become more sophisticated, what they all have in common is that they have to be read properly by the physician (usually a specialist called a radiologist) who looks at the pictures.
The types of mistakes that we see with X-rays and other similar tests usually fall into one of two categories. The first type is where the radiologist does not look closely enough and “misses” a fracture in a bone, a tumor in the body or a mass in the breast. The other common mistake is where the test results are not passed on to the patient. For example, we have had many cases over the years where the radiologist spots something wrong on the X-ray, but the hospital staff forgets to tell the patient, or even worse sometimes the bed-side doctor forgets to look at the X-ray results.
Over the past 30 years, the attorneys of Gismondi & Associates have successfully handled a variety of cases involving X-ray mistakes, including:
- A multimillion-dollar recovery on behalf of a man who suffered severe brain damage because fluid on the brain was not detected on a CT scan at a time when it could have been successfully drained.
- Recovery of nearly a million dollars on behalf of an Erie widow whose husband was not informed by his family doctor that his X-ray showed a nodule that was suspicious for lung cancer.
- Recovery in excess of a million dollars on behalf of the parents of a child who died because a doctor did not read a radiologist’s report, which said that a heart catheter was out of position. The catheter ended up rupturing the heart and the child died.
In cases involving X-ray mistakes, we make sure that we get the actual films early so that we can have an independent radiologist look at them and tell us what they see.