When Oregonians go to the doctor they expect to be treated in a way that enables them to get better. However, treating a medical condition effectively is wholly dependent upon accurately diagnosing the illness. A failure to diagnose a condition or delayed treatment can lead to a worsened condition and even death. One man had one of these fateful encounters and Oregonians should take note of what they can do should this happen to them.
In that case, a man went to the doctor with urinary issues. Upon seeing his doctor, he was given two CT scans, each a year apart. During the first scan, a radiologist noticed enlarged lymph nodes. But the doctor never saw the test. When the second scan occurred a year later, the radiologist realized the masses had grown. Notes were made by the radiologist, but the doctor, who assumed the radiologist would contact him if there were any significant problems revealed by the scan, never looked at the test results. The patient eventually went to the emergency room where it was discovered he had advanced bladder cancer that had metastasized to his bone. The victim died within a year.
Failing to diagnose any condition can be dangerous. But a delayed cancer diagnosis can eviscerate any chance a victim has of beating the disease. When this happens, a family may be left without a loved one whose life was unnecessarily cut short. The emotional pain can be debilitating, only to be further exacerbated by medical bills that come due.
Those who find themselves in these situations may be able to seek relief in the form of a lawsuit. A medical malpractice or wrongful death claim may allow the victims or their family to recover compensation for economic harm, including medical expenses and funeral costs, and noneconomic harm, such as pain and suffering.
While recovering compensation may not provide increased chances of recovering from a disease like cancer, though it could, it can help pay bills so a victim's family is not left with undeserved debt. Additionally, a successful lawsuit may help deter future negligent action, thus helping protect future patients.
Source: Renal & Urology News, "Doctor Fails to Look at Test Results, Misses Crucial Diagnosis," Ann W. Latner, Nov. 25, 2013