Diagnostic testing is a broad term used to describe medical tests that are intended to help diagnose problems or confirm a patient’s medical condition. Common diagnostic tests include laboratory tests, and radiological and other scans. When decisions are made without correct and up-to-date information, medical providers may unintentionally cause injury. There are four types of negligence regarding diagnostic testing:
Negligent Test Performance
Diagnostic tests that are done improperly will of course lead to incorrect results and possibly diagnostic testing malpractice. Laboratory tests can yield inaccurate results when non-sterile equipment is used or when the wrong test criteria are used. Medical providers who base their decisions on these improper tests can miss vital information, and may even exacerbate injury.
Negligent Test Interpretation
Even if a test is properly performed, it can be misread or misinterpreted. A medical provider, even a specialist like a sonographer or radiologist, could miss important signs of birth injury during pregnancy. In cerebral palsy cases, doctors may not perform timely cesarean sections because they do not properly interpret electronic fetal monitoring strips.
Failure to Properly Communicate Test Results
Tests that are properly performed and interpreted must often be communicated to other medical providers who will use that information to make medical decisions. If the test results are not properly communicated, then the medical provider cannot make informed decisions. In many cases, this occurs because test results are misplaced or not sent.
Failure to Properly Follow-Up on Test Results
Medical providers who order diagnostic tests must ensure that they receive test results, and then must use that information in their treatment plan. Sometimes this requires other testing, and sometimes it requires medical intervention.
If you think your child’s injuries may have been caused by your obstetrician’s negligence during pregnancy, labor or delivery, contact our medical malpractice lawyers at (888)-452-4912 or send us information about your case through our online contact form .