Last week on our Joliet medical malpractice law blog, we mentioned that several months ago, a woman learned that she had Stage 4 lung cancer after she sought emergency medical treatment for breathing problems. The patient was shocked by the news, but she was even more devastated to learn that doctors could have diagnosed her cancer two years earlier.
The woman’s cancer was finally diagnosed in May 2012 after an X-ray revealed that she had a nodule in her lung. But this was not the first time that an X-ray had revealed this information to doctors. An X-ray from 2010 had also revealed that the woman had a nodule in her lung. The X-ray had been taken after the woman sought emergency medical treatment for chest pain. Despite the results of the X-ray, the woman was sent home from the hospital and was told to take a pain reliever and to follow up with her doctor.
After the woman had been sent home, a note was made in her file to take another X-ray or to perform a CT scan. But these actions were never taken and the patient was never informed about the nodule that had been detected by the X-ray in 2010.
The woman’s concerning X-ray results were never reviewed again by doctors until the patient ended up in the emergency room again last year. No one seems to know why the results of the first X-ray had gone ignored by doctors for so long. The woman was told that the hospital would investigate the incident, but so far no one has told her why she never received a follow up X-ray or CT scan.
When the woman was diagnosed with cancer, she was told that doctors could have possibly cured her had her cancer been properly diagnosed two years earlier. The woman’s cancer is not treatable now. She was given six to 12 months to live last May.
The woman has filed a claim seeking damages for her pain, suffering and injuries that have resulted from the delayed cancer diagnosis. Although she has only been given a few months to live, the woman is choosing to move forward with the failure to diagnose claim in an effort to obtain some sort of justice for what has happened to her and her autistic daughter who will be left motherless. The woman also hopes that her claim will raise more awareness of her case and prevent doctors from making the same mistakes with other patients.
Source: New York Daily News, “Hospital’s mistake leaves single Brooklyn mom with 6 months to live,” Heidi Evans, Jan. 6, 2013
- Our firm provides counsel to Illinois patients and their families who have been harmed by similar incidents of medical malpractice like the incident discussed in today’s blog post. To learn more about our firm and practice, please visit our Joliet medical malpractice lawyer page.
Failure to Diagnose + Wrongful Death