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Misread Ultrasound Leads to Wrongful Death

A trial began yesterday in a medical malpractice case alleging that a doctor’s failure to properly read an echocardiogram test lead to the heart attack death of a popular elected official in Ithaca, reports the Ithaca Journal.

George Dentes was a well-liked figure in his hometown. He was elected District Attorney of the county for fifteen years until his retirement in 2005. Always in good shape, Mr. Dentes was a former all-state high school football player, known for walking to work every day that he was on the job. However, in October of 2006 Mr. Dentes had a heart attack at home from which doctors were unable to save him.

Following his death, Mr. Dentes widow contacted a medical malpractice attorney and filed suit against Mr. Dentes doctor. The suit alleges that the doctor failed to properly read a recent echocardiogram test, commonly known as a “stress test,” which should have revealed that Mr. Dentes had heart disease. Had the doctor noticed the medical issue following the test, surgery could have been performed that could have saved Mr. Dentes life.

According to the National Institute of Health the stress test typically involves having a patient engage in exercise (such as running on a treadmill) and then using an ultrasound machine to determine which parts of the heart are not receiving sufficient blood or oxygen due to blocked arteries. If necessary, more intrusive tests, such as an angioplasty, can be performed to further pinpoint the blockage and the need for long-term surgical solutions.

As alleged in this case, however, at times doctors misread radiological procedures like ultrasounds, which result in a failure to diagnosis life-threatening conditions. Our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys at Levin & Perconti have extensive experience fighting for victims of misread radiological procedures like x-rays, slides, and ultrasounds. In one case, we won a record $14 million verdict against a doctor who misread an x-ray leading to a failure to diagnosis lung cancer. Medical professionals have an obligation to properly read the results of tests they perform. If you feel you may have been the victim of a misread test or procedure, contact a local attorney to ensure your rights are protected.