Radiologist’s Failure To Follow up Leads To Death

Radiologist’s Failure To Follow up Abnormal Chest X-Ray Leads To Death
Plaintiff was a 54 year old male experiencing shortness of breath, cough, fever and chills.The doctor ordering the chest x-ray left his office that Friday afternoon before the X-ray was read. The radiologist interprets the x-ray at 5:10 pm as follows: There is vascular congestion and perihilar infiltrates.
Issue:

Would the standard of care require a Radiologist to call either the referring MD or patient under the circumstances?

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medQuest Expert Responses:
Given that history it might have been appropriate to call in a report if pneumonia was a real consideration. If they thought it was really just CHF not so much. The fever is the key. This one really depends on the appearance of the chest radiograph.

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