Breast CA diagnostic errors major cause of malpractice suits

Breast CA diagnostic errors major cause of malpractice suits
The most common reason for medical malpractice suits against radiologists in the United States is diagnostic errors, particularly breast cancer and non-vertebral and spinal fractures, according to research published in the February issue of Radiology.

(HealthDay)—The most common reason for medical malpractice suits against radiologists in the United States is diagnostic errors, particularly breast cancer and non-vertebral and spinal fractures, according to research published in the February issue of Radiology.

Jeremy S. Whang, M.D., of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Medical School in Newark, and colleagues used medical malpractice data for 8,401 radiologists in 47 states to determine the most frequent causes of malpractice suits.

Thirty-one percent of radiologists had a least one claim made over the course of their career and a cause could be derived for 4,043 of the 4,793 cases (84 percent). The researchers found that were the most common reason for medical malpractice suits (14.83 claims per 1,000 person-years). Breast cancer, non-, spinal fractures, lung cancer, and vascular disease were the most frequently missed diagnoses. Procedural complications (1.76 claims per 1,000 person-years) and inadequate communication with either the patient or referrer (0.40 and 0.71 claims per 1,000 person-years, respectively) were the next most frequent causes of medical malpractice suits against radiologists. Failing to recommend additional testing was a rare cause (0.41 claims per 1,000 person-years).

"Our data then indicate that interpretive errors, rather than communication errors, are by far the most common generic cause of malpractice suits against radiologists," the authors write. "In this category, is the most frequently missed diagnosis, followed by non- and spinal fractures."

One author disclosed to One Call Medical.

More information: Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Related Stories

E-records linked to fewer malpractice claims

date Jun 26, 2012

(HealthDay News) -- Malpractice claims dipped dramatically among Massachusetts physicians after they began using electronic medical records, according to new research, although it's not clear whether the ...

Tomosynthesis ups accuracy of digital mammography

date Jan 04, 2013

(HealthDay)—Using a combination of tomosynthesis, which produces a three-dimensional reconstruction of the breast, with digital mammography increases radiologists' diagnostic accuracy and significantly ...

Recommended for you

Nocturnal GERD tied to non-infectious rhinitis

date Mar 27, 2015

(HealthDay)—Nocturnal gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) appears to be a risk factor for non-infectious rhinitis (NIR), according to a study published online March 24 in Allergy.

COPD takes big toll on employment, mobility in US

date Mar 27, 2015

(HealthDay)—The respiratory illness known as COPD takes a toll on mobility and employment, with a new report finding that nearly one-quarter of Americans with the condition are unable to work.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.