I recently posted a blog reporting on the overuse of x-rays and other types of diagnostic tests related to dental procedures. According to a recent article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, a panel of medical experts has pledged to put new general protocols into place to limit radiation exposure to patients.
While a doctor or dentist should never perform a procedure prior to doing all image tests necessary to properly diagnose and treat a condition, unwarranted x-rays are a waste of money and can potentially lead to cancer in patients. There are many radiographical tests available to medical professionals that allow them to review different parts of the anatomy without having to conduct invasive surgery to view them. MRI’s, Cone Beam CT Scans, X-rays, and Ultra sounds are just a few of them. While these tests are available and many injured patients are sent through a battery or test, it would surprise many injured clients as to how many tests are conducted but not reviewed by the treating doctors. This presents a problem for the doctors in many dental malpractice and medical malpractice cases that I handle. For example, in a case that I handled a few years back, the dentist’s chart contained many references to a Cone Beam CT Scans (“CBCT”)and there were a number of discs produced in discovery which contained CBCT scans of the patient and her injuries. Only through deposition, did the dentist admit that he could not read the discs because he did not know how to read CBCT scans. While this may have been due to the fairly new technology of CBCT scans at the time, it does illustrate a point: many medical professionals either don’t know how to, or don’t take the time, to properly review radiology tests. It has been my experience that if these tests are sent out to radiologists, you are more likely to get a proper and thorough reading of the scan, however, if the treating doctor or dentist reviews the scan herself, the likelihood of the medical provider just perusing it (as opposed to taking her time an review it thoroughly) is much greater. Often, this become, yet another, basis for bring the malpractice claims against the defendant dentist or doctor.
As Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyers we applaud the recent medical panel’s pledge to limit x-rays in hopes of avoiding future cases of cancer.
Attorney Robert J. Fleming has been handling wrongful death cases, automobile accident cases, personal injury cases, dental malpractice and medical malpractice lawsuits for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 20 years in and around Atlanta, Georgia and its surrounding areas, including Alpharetta, Austell, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, College Park, Conyers, Duluth, Decatur, Doraville, Hapeville, Johns Creek, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Peachtree City, Riverdale, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Stone Mountain, and Smyrna. If you have been seriously injured and would like quality legal representation, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.