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Kelly & West News

Missed Diagnosis of Breast Cancer is the Top Mistake among Radiologists

According to a new study published in the journal Radiology, a missed diagnosis of breast cancer is the leading reason for medical malpractice lawsuits filed against radiologists in the U.S.

Researchers from the New Jersey Medical School evaluated the malpractice histories of more than 8,200 radiologists who were all credentialed members of One Call Medical. There were no radiologists from Hawaii, North Dakota, South Dakota or Vermont enrolled with One Call Medical during the period of the study.

Results from study showed that 2,624 of the radiologists (31 percent) had at least one medical malpractice claim brought against them in their careers. The most common reason for the claims was diagnostic errors, including missed diagnosis of the following:

  • Breast cancer
  • Nonspinal fracture
  • Spinal fractures
  • Lung cancer
  • Vascular disease

Other reasons for the malpractice claims include procedural complications and radiologist-referrer communication. The records indicate that 1,515 radiologists were sued once in their careers, 599 had been sued twice and 486 had been sued three times.

The states with the highest number of malpractice suits include New York, Indiana, New Jersey, Utah, Pennsylvania and Florida. And the states with the least amount of lawsuits include Wisconsin, Alabama, North Carolina, Arkansas, Mississippi and Nebraska.

Diagnostic errors can have devastating consequences for a patient. If, for example, a woman’s breast cancer is missed, by the time it is discovered, it may have progressed to a stage that is difficult or impossible to treat. A missed diagnosis can cost a patient his or her life.

If you or someone you love has suffered because of a missed or incorrect diagnosis, you may be eligible for financial compensation. To learn more, contact the Raleigh, North Carolina medical malpractice lawyers at Kelly & West. We represent individuals in Raleigh and across the state.


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