Failure to Diagnose Cancer

ROB LEVINE, MEDICAL MALPRACTICE LAWYER

VICTIM OF FAILURE TO DIAGNOSE CANCER? GET AN ATTORNEY

Cancer is a fast-moving and dangerous disease that, if left untreated, poses a great risk to the patient and may even be fatal. A delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis could ultimately delay a patient’s access to proper treatment, which allows the cancer time to progress and spread.  If a patient had received timely treatment, they may gave been able to eliminate the cancer.  If a doctor fails to diagnose cancer and subsequently fails to provide the proper treatment, there are grounds to pursue legal action, including if the following took place:

The doctor skipped certain necessary exams or tests

Test result were lost or incorrect

The patient’s medical information was misplaced or mistaken with that of another patient

Delayed testing or in sending test results

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WHY IS EARLY DIAGNOSIS KEY?

Due to the aggressive nature of the disease, cancer moves through the body with great speed and force. As cancer progresses through the different stages, symptoms become more severe and potentially fatal. The farther along the cancer is in the stages, the more invasive and dangerous the treatments become. Therefore, the sooner one can receive treatment, the better, as it minimizes the risk of lasting side effects and increases the chances of the patient’s survival.

COMMON ERRORS THAT RESULTS IN A FAILURE TO DIAGNOSE

Failure to diagnose is not only the lack of a diagnosis but can include other aspects of medical negligence such as misdiagnosis, delays in testing, and failure to provide proper treatment within an appropriate amount of time.

Common errors resulting in a failure to diagnose cancer include:

  • Failure to order proper testing
  • Delay in testing or sending results
  • Lost or misread test results and scans
  • Failure to recognize and follow-up on common symptoms
  • Failure to obtain proper patient information and/or history

DO I HAVE A CASE?

Doctors are responsible for identifying symptoms and promptly diagnosing patients. Cancer is a life-threatening disease that moves quickly through the body. Negligence on behalf of a doctor in these cases can have dramatic repercussions. Understanding what is expected as a standard for medical care and diagnostics is critical when searching for answers. If you feel as though your doctor has been negligent and has performed any medical errors, you may have ground to pursue legal action.

FAQs About Your

Medical Malpractice Case

How much time do I have to start my case?
The statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases in Rhode Island is up to three years after the discovery of their medical condition. In Massachusetts, patients are given up to three years from the discovery date if they would not have reasonably known of the malpractice. In Connecticut, patients are given up to two years to file their case.
Do I have any medical rights?
You have the right to:
  • Access information regarding your case that is accurate, easy to understand, and in your language.
  • Access any assistance you may need to understand your medical information.
  • Be involved in decisions regarding your medical treatment.
  • Receive respectful care from any medical professional.
  • Confidentiality regarding your medical care and treatments.
  • Read and copy your medical records to ensure accuracy.
  • File a complaint against any medical staff who treats you.
How do I know if I have a medical malpractice case?
Medical Malpractice is a form of professional negligence that can be committed by any medical professional who is involved in giving care to a patient. To prove medical malpractice, a claimant must show that a doctor-patient relationship existed, that the professional violated the standard of care, and an injury resulted from that violation.    
What is “informed consent” and how does this relate to malpractice?
In Rhode Island, informed consent refers to the conversation a medical professional has with their patient when they explain the proposed course of treatment and its risks. The physician must also offer information for alternative treatments and/or the option of not treating a specific illness. Rhode Island requires a five-part test to decide if there is validity in a medical malpractice case surrounding a lack of informed consent. This test includes: the physician’s explanation of risk was inadequate, the risk was known and withheld by the physician, the risk was a valid concern, and the injury in question was caused by this undisclosed risk.
How can a jury determine if a physician’s actions were negligent?
All medical professionals are expected to abide by a standard of care. A judge is responsible for questions of law. A juror is a trier of fact. While a jury listens to an entire trial, their job is to take the law as described to them by the judge and apply all of the facts and information that were relayed to them through testimony throughout the trial. A jury is then responsible for rendering a verdict based on the law given to them during jury instructions by the judge and their opinion a to whether or not the case presented by the plaintiff meets or exceeds the standard of law as defined by the judge of negligence by the medical professional.
What are examples of medical malpractice?
A licensed medical professional's actions that fall below the standard of care include failure to diagnose/misdiagnosis, failure to order proper testing, failure to recognize symptoms, misreading/ignoring laboratory results, surgical errors or wrong-site surgery, improper medication/dosages, unnecessary surgery, poor follow-up or aftercare, premature discharge, or disregarding or not taking an appropriate patient history.  

Medical Malpractice It is the responsibility of medical professionals to care for the patients. However, medical malpractice occurs frequently. Take advantage of this free book to learn more about medical malpractice and legality of the subject. Free Ebook

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