When Foghat bassist Craig MacGregor underwent a CT scan after a fall in 2012, a 10-millimeter tumor on his lung was present on the scan results. MacGregor was not made aware of the tumor until three years later, when another doctor reviewed his medical records.
MacGregor’s situation points to a much bigger problem: radiologists and other diagnostic imaging service providers are not currently required by law to report test results to patients. The failure to inform patients of their abnormal test results is putting countless patients in danger in Pennsylvania and across the United States.
State Representative Marguerite Quinn has drafted legislation that would change these rules, however. The Patient Test Results Information Act, which cleared the state House last year and is awaiting action in the Senate, would require radiologists have to alert doctors and patients of any significant abnormalities detected in test results. The bill would apply to most diagnostic imaging services but exempt obstetrical ultrasounds, diagnostic radiographs and tests performed on inpatients.
Quinn describes her proposal as “a safety net” for patients that would also help doctors avoid dangerous and costly oversights.
Anapol Weiss Partner Stephen Pokiniewski is currently representing MacGregor in a medical misdiagnosis lawsuit against his health care provider. “Unfortunately, Mr. MacGregor’s situation is not unusual,” Pokiniewski said. “We represent several other clients who have had suffered a delay in diagnosis because they were not made aware of abnormal findings on diagnostic radiology studies in a timely fashion.”
Failure to diagnose cancer in a timely manner can have devastating and irreversible effects on the patient and his or her family. In MacGregor’s case, the delayed diagnosis allowed the tumor time to grow nearly seven times bigger, and it had progressed into stage IV lung cancer that metastasized to McGregor’s brain. Had he been informed about the tumor when it initially showed up on the scan, MacGregor’s chances of a cure would have been much greater.