Proper preventative testing is an important part of detecting health problems early enough to provide life-saving treatment. It is for that reason that there has been a recent push to encourage everyone to receive yearly tests for particularly common ailments. One of the most prominent examples of this trend is the encouragement for women to receive yearly mammograms.
However, some women recently found out that their testing was completely useless, because the results were never examined by a doctor at all.
ABC News reported on a bizarre case of medical mistakes involving a willfully negligent hospital employee. Rachel Rapraegar was a radiology technician at the Perry Hospital in Perry Georgia. While in the position she gave mammograms to hundreds of women who came in to ensure that they did not have breast cancer. However, instead of taking the test and giving the results to the doctors to examine, Rapraegar never showed the actual doctor anything. Instead, she simply marked the results as negative and sent the patients on their way.
Officials believe that over a thousand women fell victim to this reckless conduct. Of course, the result is that many women who actually had cancer, never found out. The disease was allowed to spread without the unknowing patient receiving any needed treatment.
Of the 1,300 mammograms that were never reviewed by a doctor, 10 of them have already been discovered to have actually revealed breast cancer. The women have been notified of the mistake. As a result, many of these women may have their lives shortened, because their treatment was delayed.
One victim explained her anguish, “She’s cut time with my family. She’s taken away time from me, that I would spend loving the people that I love.”
Our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys at Levin & Perconti are appalled that this type of conduct could occur at any hospital. The blatant disregard for the needs of patients, for no apparent reason, is simply inexcusable. Examples like these are exactly why it is important that patients’ rights remain properly protected. When lives are cut short because of medical errors like this, the court system is often the only place remaining that can help vindicate patient losses.