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Misreads??? Malpractice or Negligence?????

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:37 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I'm an ex- X-ray tech (long story there-ask me???)

My husband got injured at work 1+1/2 yrs ago & has been on WC since....
His first MRI & Xray reports say
" Patient is fine, go back to work after light duty.. nothing seen on MRI's & Xrays.... "

However, 3 surgeries ( 1 surgery on C-spine on C4,5,&6),(2 surgeries on shoulder, torn labrum & biceps tendon)
Both 'initial' REPORTS said," NOTHING."
The stories I could tell having worked in Xrays at 4 different hospitals over a 6 year period.

Now we find out via internet & lawyers that 33% of all Xrays (this includes, Xrays,Mammo's, PET scans, MRI's, CT's, Ultrasounds....) are mis-diagnosed...
this means: Omissions or lack of findings PLUS
Wrong Reads or Partial reads (got some parts right but missed some too)

In my husbands case complete Misreads or Omissions
are under the auspices of Negligence per the Law
NOT Malpractice...He went Mis-diagnosed or as we like to re-iterate UN-diagnosed for 4 solid months.
(I had told him I'm only an ex-Xray tech but the
c-spines looked herniated to me and your labrum looks torn...I missed the biceps tendon...)

He just kept complaining about the pain, lack or movement and lack of sleep due to pain,numbness and tingleling sensations thru out his body,,,so now...
3 surgeries later....he will no longer be a
'truck driver' that livelihood is gone.. his work says they want him back, but what will he do and what position to be 'retrained' in he stills healing from the 3rd surgery so we will not know for many months....

Our problem now is (I think) he may have had a broken clavicle from the day 1 of the accident
(I missed this, too) several people agree with me
they see the broken bone too (Dr.s(behind closed doors) & Physical Therapy techs)

So we went to an outside Dr. for a third opinion and he says no his clavicle is Not broken. (He was too fast to say and did not even want to look at the Xray, at all)
These Doctors, 1) Do not want to testify against their colleagues, 2)they do not want to go to court,
3)As long as your being 'repaired' and it's getting -paid for- why stir up unnecessary problems,
4) these surgeons are credited experts in their field, you can't accuse them of 'wrong doing'

So my husband & I resolved ourselves to:
O'k it's NOT broken... I was up all night last night
got out all my anatomy books from Xray school...

I pulled out the films again,,, I still say it's broken...and no one has said this to us...


  • I try not to get into fights over whether something was done right or wrong. I'm sorry it happened to you and your husband.

    We are a support group, for those who have chronic pain and a whole host of other issues. If you or your H would like to continue, keep posting.

    I will say that anger is one of those emotions that gets tied to the brain quite hard. For myself - letting it get too far out, results in high pain cycles, for no reason. I try to stay away from it.

    Trust your feeling better. C45
  • Sorry to hear that your husband is having so many difficulties. As Centurion stated, Spine Health is a patient support group and we are all patients or friends and family of patients, not doctors or lawyers.

    One thing that confuses me, is that you said the radiology report stated
    " Patient is fine, go back to work after light duty.. nothing seen on MRI's & Xrays.... "
    I have experience working in and with a large radiology department as well as several friends who are radiologists. Unless you come from a different system where things are done tremendously different... the radiologist does not make the recommendation as to whether or not a patient can or cannot, should or should not return to work. Radiology reports are fairly sterile and it is generally up to the physician who ordered the imaging study to make any determination as to the patient's condition and fitness to return to work or not.

    Are you possibly getting the doctor's notes or determination mixed up with the radiology report? If you intend to go forward with any type of legal action, it might be prudent to make certain of who said what, and from what. Any incorrect facts or presentations, will end any action before it even gets started.

  • I think what you need to keep in mind is you need to research the doctors and make decisions as to which doctor is best fit for yourself. Most doctors appreciate educated patients, however they don't want them dxing themselves. When you went out of the system to another doctor I am surprised he/she didn't read the films themselves. I am not particularly fond of docs who rely on the reports. If you are not happy with the work comp doctor then you can request one of your choosing. Not sure which state you live in? Some states let you choose the doctor, while other states work comp chooses the doctor. But if you don't like the work comp doctor and can show they don't have your best interest at heart, then you can request a change through the work comp judge. Most states once you make that change though that is the doctor of record, so make sure you do home work selecting the doctor. keep in mind most surgeons don't like to get into another surgeons work unless it is a major miss or something else has gone wrong.

    Since you have a attorney involved, he/she should know of a radiologist who gives expert opinions for the court system ruling on behalf of the employee. The attorney's all know which doctors work more towards the patients and which ones work more towards work comp. So if you feel this strongly put it back in the lap of your attorney to help you.
  • Funny you would mention having problems with the x-ray department...

    I have had a LOT of x-rays and MRI's in the last 4 years.

    I have had impartial films printed (only half the films made it to the dr.)

    I have had someone ELSE's films given to me instead of mine (envelope was mine, films inside were of someone's skull).

    I have had films that state they are of my left ankle, but I'm pretty certain the MRI was on the right one.

    I have had a broken ankle diagnosis missed - I walked for 4 months, and even did PT on a supposedly sprained ankle that was actually broken.

    Every time I get films done I get a call asking about how I was treated and how I felt the radiology department did - unfortunately they don't ask the right questions (it's all 'were you treated nice, did they call you by name etc.) they never ask the real questions.

    Like I said, VERY interesting to read your post. I don't know if it reassures me to know it's not just happening to me, or if I am terrified to know how bad and extensive the problems are!
  • I have had Dr's tell me behind closed doors or unofficially give their opinions, but not one bit of that matters unless they will go on record about it. I understand that. As far as legal goes, in my state, most cases if an award was issued for negligence or malpractice, work comp would put a lien on that money and snatch that up. I really feel for you and your hubby.

    So, my real intent of this post is to say in my life, I've had to figure out what really matters. I know I was wronged. I was so angry for so long. Then I think I used the anger to motivate me to find the right doc to salvage what he could. But then I was lost when it was time to admit that nothing further could be salvaged. Through this site and through counseling, I think I've come to a better place in my mind.

    I think(just my internet opinion), use your feelings to help you find the best treatment possible for your husband. Getting treatment is the first priority. Let your attorney sort through all of the work comp business, that's why he's pulling in the big bucks. He should be fighting the battles for you, though of course being an informed consumer is important. I'm not saying you don't have a right to be pi**ed, just try to focus those feelings into getting the proper care for your husband. He is lucky he has an advocate like you.

  • There are so many doctors that just do not listen, do not give us more than 5 minutes and want to dismiss what we say as if it couldn't be something they missed. I've had the same experiences just not a workmans comp case. I've had to have repeat surgeries to fix things that were there before and when I'd asked about them, the doctor had said, oh, no, that area shouldn't be a problem. I am grateful to get the worst problems fixed (hopefully), but then, the second in line problems come up next as the worst. Seems they just want to hit the highlights, schedule you quickly, and move on to the next patient.

    Don't give up. Keep pushing for another doctor to see the xray and talk with both of you, pointing out whether or not your husband has a broken bone on top of the other problems he's suffered. Most of the time, the spine surgeons don't work on shoulders or collarbones or anything but the spine. They are all focused on certain areas. My ortho doctor does broken bones, knees, shoulders, hips, and carpal tunnel. I wish you guys all the luck in the world....and it is great that you have experience and know the lingo when you talk to a doctor. I have taken printouts from my MRIs with things circled to ask about...so I'm the same way. It's our bodies and we pay them for a service.
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