A recent study revealed that missing a diagnosis, often of breast cancer, is the most common reason for a medical malpractice claim brought against a radiologist in the United States. The study, published in the journal Radiology, used data gathered from 1955 to 2010 and included the malpractice histories of 8,000+ radiologists. The doctors were from nearly every state in the country and a wide variety of practices.
According to the results, 2,600 of the radiologists, 31%, had at least one medical malpractice claim filed against them at some point in their career. The most common cause for such a suit was diagnostic error. The most frequently missed diagnosis, out of 1,000 human years, are the following:
• Breast cancer, 3.57 claims • Fractures, 2.49 claims • Spinal fractures, 1.32 claims • Lung cancer, 1.26 claims • Vascular disease, 1.08 claims
Beyond missing a diagnosis, another common reason for suing radiologists for malpractice is when complications related to procedures arise. Relative to other medical professionals there were very few claims for failure to recommend further testing or for inadequate communication.
The numbers also revealed that 599 radiologists had been sued for medical malpractice twice and 486 three or more times. Radiologists in New York, Indiana, New Jersey, Utah, Florida, and Pennsylvania were among the most likely to be sued while those in Wisconsin, Alabama, North Carolina, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Nebraska, were the least likely to face a medical malpractice suit.
In Mississippi, medical malpractice cases are time sensitive matters and it’s important to consult an experienced attorney quickly who can help assess your case. A medical malpractice action must be brought within two years after the alleged act, omission, or neglect is discovered or could have been discovered, Mississippi Code Annotated §15-1-36(1). All claims arising after July 1, 1998, must be brought within seven years after the alleged negligent conduct. This timer period can be tolled until discovery for those claims arising out of foreign objects left in the body and claims that have been fraudulently concealed.
Those who have suffered injuries at the hand of their doctor should be aware that legal remedies might be available to them. If you would like to speak with a Mississippi medical malpractice attorney about a potential medical malpractice claim, call Mississippi medical malpractice attorneys at Kilpatrick & Philley today at (601) 856-7800.
Source: “Diagnosis Error Most Common Radiology Malpractice Claim,” by Marijke Vroomen Durning, published at DiagnosticImaging.com.
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