Florida medical malpractice lawyer, Guy S. DiMartino, DC, JD, discusses the failure to diagnose cancer medical malpractice case at gsdimartino.com .
The failure to timely diagnose a medical condition medical malpractice case is more common than you would think. We see a lot of these cases in regards to cancer. The typical scenario goes something like this: A 40 year old woman is in the shower doing her monthly breast exam and notices a lump in her breast. She goes to her family doctor or Ob/Gyn for an exam. The doctor examines the area and finds a lump that is hard, non-painful and non-moveable. These types of findings are more consistent with a cancer than a benign lesion so she orders some diagnostic testing.
Where the Malpractice Begins
As a general rule we see two problems that cause a delay in cancer diagnosis medical malpractice cases: Breakdown in communication : In these cases the doctor orders the right tests and the problem occurs when the specialist or hospital fails to relay the results to the ordering physician. Also, we have seen cases where the results are sent to ordering doctor and they are just put in the patient's file without notification or consultation with the doctor about the results.
Malpractice in the reading of the diagnostic test(s): In these cases we see a problem with the specialist who is called on to interpret the tests. For instance, a mammogram is read as normal by a radiologist or a biopsy is read as normal by the reviewing pathologist. The ordering physician relies on these results and tells the patient that everything is okay.
Many times the patient will go on with life thinking that everything is okay and then something will bring them back to the doctor whether it be increased symptoms or an increase in the size of the lump using the above example. In the breakdown in communication case the doctor will review the file and either see that the report is not in the file or will see the abnormal report in the file. In the misread case, another study will be performed and interpreted correctly. The doctor(s) will then review the previous study and see the condition on the study.
Timely Diagnosis increases the chances of a good outcome
The thing with most cancers is that the earlier the condition is diagnosed and treated the better the outcome. A delay in 6 months or a year can mean the difference between life and death.
If you have a questions about a failure to timely diagnose cancer medical malpractice case in Florida, give me a call at (352) 267-9168 or fill out the Internet consultation form on the right side of the screen.