Think about a time in your life when you had to go get some type of imaging done, whether an x-ray, CAT scan, MRI, or other. Now, think about when you received those results. Who reported them to you? We would venture to say that it was probably your doctor, and that you never even knew the name of the radiologist who read and interpreted your images. Such is likely the case for nearly 100% of radiology reports today, especially from facilities who outsource to radiologists.
So, who is responsible if the radiologist interprets the images incorrectly? Believe it or not, it does happen, and it can have disastrous results. Consider a patient who has severe deterioration in the spine, and will need surgery. The damage is actually at the L2-L3 level, but in the radiology report it was identified at L4-L5. On surgery day, the surgeon relies on this report to perform the correct surgery. Therefore, he fuses the vertebrae at L4-L5 instead of L2-L3. By the time he realizes the mistake, irreversible damage has already been done, and the patient will need to endure yet another surgery.
Radiologists can, and should, be held responsible for mistakes in medical malpractice claims. Their determinations and reports are relied on just as much, if not more, than a medical doctor. As a matter of fact, medical doctors rely on the accuracy of radiology reports in order to make correct treatment decisions.
If you or someone you know have been injured as the result of an incorrect radiology report, do not hesitate to contact an attorney. Review the facts with he or she, provide all reports and documentation, and allow an expert to determine whether you have a justifiable, compensable medical malpractice lawsuit.