X-rays miss up to a third of fractures, warn US doctors

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X-rays miss up to a third of fractures, warn US doctors

6th April 2010

Doctors in America have warned that nearly a third of X-rays are failing to identify hip and pelvis fractures - which could lead to misdiagnosis.

MRI scans on 92 patients in Washington found 35 more fractures than had shown up on their X-rays, while some scans revealed that no fracture existed where X-rays suggested there was one.

Daniel Lee, a clinical negligence specialist at Fentons Solicitors LLP, was shocked by the results of the survey as X-ray machines are widely used in hospitals across the UK.

"Diagnosis for patients who are suffering from hip or pelvis pain will often begin and end with an X-ray," said Daniel, a partner at the firm. "It is frightening to think that nearly a third of these patients may have traumatic fractures which, without further investigation, could remain undiagnosed."

The research, published in an American medical journal, recommended using MRI - a more detailed scan which gives doctors a better picture of the body - as well as an X-ray if doctors are in any doubt as to the extent of injury.

"Although it is unfeasible to offer MRI scans to every patient, those at greater risk of complications, such as the elderly, are prime candidates for additional testing," said Daniel.

"We deal with many clients who have suffered as a result of conditions being left undiagnosed and some were too anxious to ask for a second opinion or further investigation. However, this report has highlighted a greater margin of error than we might have expected for a piece of medical equipment commonly used throughout America and the UK."

How can Fentons Solicitors help?
Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims relating to clinical and medical negligence.

If you think that you have a case or require further information, contact Fentons on 0800 019 1297 or fill in the online claims questionnaire.

Source - BBC news