Radiology Errors: The Impact of Missed and Misinterpreted Scans – A Blog by Sweeney Solicitors


Radiology Errors: The Impact of Missed and Misinterpreted Scans – A Blog by Sweeney Solicitors
The realm of radiology, encompassing X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, and ultrasounds, plays a crucial role in
modern medicine. These diagnostic tools provide invaluable insights into a patient’s health, often
revealing hidden conditions and guiding treatment pathways. However, as pivotal as these tools are,
they’re not exempt from human error. Radiology errors, particularly missed and misinterpreted
scans, can have dire consequences. At Sweeney Solicitors, we’re dedicated to supporting victims of
such errors. This blog delves into the world of radiology errors in Ireland and the potential fallout for
1. Radiology Errors Defined

Radiology errors primarily fall into two categories:

  • Missed Scans: When an anomaly or condition is present but overlooked by the radiologist.
  • Misinterpreted Scans: When the radiologist misreads the scan, either diagnosing a non-
    existent issue or incorrectly identifying a real one.
    2. Causes of Radiology Errors
    The reasons behind these errors can be multifaceted:
  • Overwork: A high patient volume can lead to fatigue and oversight.
  • Inadequate Training: Not all errors stem from negligence. Sometimes, the radiologist may lack
    the training to identify specific conditions.
  • Technical Issues: Problems with the imaging equipment or poor-quality scans can result in
  • Communication Breakdown: Miscommunication between medical teams can lead to incorrect
    3. The Ripple Effect of Errors
    The consequences of radiology errors extend beyond physical health:
  • Delayed Treatment: A missed diagnosis can lead to significant treatment delays, worsening the
    patient’s condition.
  • Unnecessary Procedures: Misinterpretation might result in patients undergoing unneeded
    surgeries or treatments, subjecting them to unnecessary risks.
  • Emotional and Mental Strain: The stress of an incorrect diagnosis or missed condition can take
    a toll on a patient’s mental health.
  • Financial Implications: Incorrect treatments or late diagnoses can lead to increased medical
    4. Taking Action in Ireland
    If you suspect you’ve been a victim of a radiology error:
  • Obtain a Second Opinion: Always consult another radiologist or medical professional if in
  • Document Everything: From medical reports to personal accounts of how the error has
    impacted you.
  • Engage with Sweeney Solicitors: With our expertise in medical negligence, we can assess the
    merits of your case and guide you through the legal process.
    5. Legal Pathways
    In Ireland, pursuing a radiology error claim involves:
  • Initial Consultation: A thorough discussion of your situation with a solicitor.
  • Acquiring Medical Evidence: Securing your medical records and potentially getting expert
    opinions on the radiology error.
  • Filing a Claim: Initiating a formal claim if there’s substantial evidence of negligence.
  • Negotiation & Settlement: While many cases are resolved outside of court, some may proceed
    to trial if an agreement isn’t reached.
    The trust we place in radiological procedures is profound. When this trust is breached due to errors,
    the consequences can be life-altering. At Sweeney Solicitors, our commitment is to advocate for
    victims of radiology errors, ensuring their rights are championed and justice is served. If you believe
    you’ve been impacted by such an error, we’re here to provide the expertise and support you need.