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Radiologist Failure to Detect Cyst Led to Patient Death in New York

CT scanRadiology is a powerful tool for detecting disease. When a radiologist mistakenly fails to identify and diagnose a condition, the consequences can be deadly. If you or someone you love has been harmed by a radiology error, the seasoned Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers can help. We will investigate every aspect of your medical injury and provide you with a realistic assessment of your case.

In a recent Pennsylvania case, a radiologist’s failure to notice a cyst caused a patient’s death. In October of 2014, the decedent, a 66-year-old man went to the emergency room and complained of back pain indicating that his pain was a 10 out of 10. He was given medication and underwent a CT scan of his abdomen and pelvis. A radiologist reviewed the scan and did not find anything noteworthy. The man was discharged with a diagnosis of back pain and told to follow up with his primary care doctor.

Over the next 15 months, the man consulted with his primary care doctor and came back to the emergency room three times complaining of back pain. At each visit, the doctors noted that the CT scan from 2014 was negative and discharged the patient with some medication.

In January of 2016, the man went to the hospital again complaining of upper-abdominal pain. A CT scan showed a tumor on the pancreas, which was ultimately determined to be cancer. The man died the following year, in July of 2017.

Before his death, the man sued the radiologist for medical malpractice. After he died, his wife represented his estate. The plaintiffs argued that the radiologist had failed to diagnose the cyst that was evident at the time of the 2014 CT scan leading to the man’s death. If the cyst had been detected, the man would have had enough time to seek treatment, which may have been life saving. The defense acknowledged the presence of a cyst but argued it was too subtle to expect a reasonable radiologist to detect it.

The jury favored the plaintiffs and found that the radiologist was liable for malpractice.

While this case highlights a radiology error in Pennsylvania, the sad reality is radiology errors are common in New York as well. If a radiology error resulted in a preventable injury to a patient, that patient can likely recover compensation through a medical malpractice claim. In order to establish medical malpractice, the plaintiff would need to establish that the radiologist caused his or her injury by failing to use the level of care that reasonably competent radiologist would have used in the same or similar circumstances. It is important to note that the burden of proof in these cases is on the plaintiff, who must establish medical malpractice by a preponderance of the evidence.

Radiologists are generally the first line of defense against serious illness and disease. If you or a loved one has been injured by a radiologist’s error, misconduct or wrongdoing, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, our diligent Syracuse radiology malpractice attorneys will analyze your case and help you understand your legal rights and options. For more information, call us at 315-479-9000 or contact us online.

More Blog Posts:

Umbilical Cord Issues and Medical Malpractice in Syracuse, Syracuse Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, July 5, 2018

Syracuse Vaccine Injuries, Syracuse Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, June 29, 2018

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