The Washington Post has published a story about a retired nurse who suffered years of side effects from a surgery to remove her gallbladder. The surgeon incorrectly modified her liver, resulting in an odd side effect of significant itching. Years of scans were misread until a specialist recognized the symptoms from a previous patient and intervened properly.
Misread scans, particularly CT scans, are a major problem. In many cases, cancer diagnoses are missed and patients either die or require invasive procedures and treatment that could have been prevented with a prompt diagnosis. Cancer diagnoses are certainly not the only thing missed when these scans are misread. Other examples of potential missed diagnoses include:
- Heart disease
- Emphysema or other lung issues
- Bone issues
- Blood clots
Dependent upon what the scan is looking for, the immediate fallout of missing something can be vastly different. When cancer or heart disease is missed, it is likely that the disease is allowed to progress to a point where the person suffers unnecessary damage to their long-term health. But when blood clots or similar are missed, the situation can evolve rapidly to an emergent and possibly deadly situation.
When long-term health issues are at stake, the fallout of a misread scan can be more significant than if a scan is not performed at all. When a test is done and yields no diagnosis, people can be lulled into a false sense of security regarding their health and ignore or downplay symptoms that are clear signs something is amiss.
If you or someone you love has suffered unnecessarily due to a misread CT or other scan, it is important to hold the radiologist and doctors responsible for their error. Misread scans get people killed, and are often the result of a provider attempting to do too many scans too quickly. Please reach out to an experienced attorney regarding your case.