Medical Malpractice: Dennin v. Tower Radiology Case

Critical Analysis of a Case Study

Radiographers are presented with many challenges as professionals and must conduct their work in the most precise way. These specialists have been increasingly involved in the patients’ clinical management, which subsequently exposes them to new liabilities, responsibilities, and a higher risk of legal claims. With the rapid development of technology, radiographers, who directly deal with the machines, are to be educated to provide relevant results of the X-ray. Malpractice lawsuits in radiology are commonly related to inaccurate diagnosis or medical care caused by inadequate imaging. One of such wrongful death cases happened in 2017 in Maryland when a doctor failed to diagnose ovarian cancer.

Summary of the Case

The Dennin v. Tower Radiology case is one of the most severe medical negligence lawsuits, which led to the patient’s death. Briefly, a woman who an abdominal pelvic mass surgery, and several other evaluations was later diagnosed with stage 2B Clear Cell Carcinoma ovarian cancer (Miller & Zois Attorney Law, 2019). After several scans, doctors did not identify any symptoms of metastatic disease; however, the woman continued to experience abdominal pain.

Sometime later, it was discovered that the 2.8 cm lymph node in her pelvis, visible on all three of the scans doctors thought it was an ovary, which was already removed. After receiving correct reports, the woman experienced aggressive chemotherapy, but died of ovarian cancer after an eight months fight, which would not have happened given the doctors would have identified the metastatic disease earlier. The major reasons behind faulty diagnoses concerned the radiographer’s inability to operate the imaging considering the patient’s disease history and symptomatic complaints.

5 Why’s Analysis

Problem Statement: The woman dies of ovarian cancer due to the doctor’s negligence.

Why did the woman experience deadly ovarian cancer?

The physicians failed to recognize the metastatic lymph on the CT scans.

Why did the doctors fail to identify ovarian cancer from the scans?

They have failed to diagnose the correct disease, missing all its signs.

Why did they fail to diagnose the correct disease, missing all its signs?

They failed to correctly compare three CT scans between each other, where the lymph was clearly seen.

Why did they fail to correctly compare three CT scans between each other, where the lymph was clearly seen?

The doctors were not acquainted with the patient’s medical history.

Why were the doctors not acquainted with the patient’s medical history?

Due to their lack of competence and failure to notice crucial details.

Critical Thinking Evaluation of how a Prudent Technologist Should Have Handled the Case

Radiography is an assisting tool for quality treatment is quite a complicated procedure that requires not only medical competence but also profound knowledge in the X-ray machine’s operating peculiarities. It was primarily the radiographer’s duty to make sure that the imaging process was set according to the issue described by the patient. Hence, in order to handle the following case, a prudent technologist would have checked the very equipment on the subject of technical malfunction to make sure the machine was safe for the patient and capable of exposing relevant examination. Then, the radiographer would have interviewed the patient on the subject of her complaints and expectations from the treatment process. Along with direct communication, the medical history of the patient should have been studied meticulously to correlate present symptoms with possible diagnoses.

Description of Ethical Standards, Law, and Data

The U.S. legislative system provides several laws referring to medical negligence. The court has pled the doctor guilty on the following counts: mental anguish and loss of consortium (on behalf of the decedent’s husband and daughter), aggravation of a preexisting condition to the decedent’s body, and pain suffering until the time of her death (Miller & Zois Attorney Law, 2019). The lawsuit was ruled in favor of the deceased patient.

Summary of My Thoughts Regarding this Case Study

The case of the doctor’s failure to identify a clear metastatic ovary cancer is a form of gross misconduct at the cost of the woman’s life. A doctor who cannot proceed to get familiar with the patient’s medical history should not be allowed to practice, as it is evident how such a process of negligence can reflect on the course of the disease. If metastatic cancer had been identified earlier the woman may have lived much longer (Miller & Zois Attorney Law, 2019). I think that radiologists must follow all the preparative procedures before concluding the diagnosis, as it may significantly influence someone’s life.

Reference

Miller & Zois Attorney Law. (2019). Miller & Zois. Web.

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