A diagnosis of cancer is a serious one, but it is not always an ending. Many people are treated, go into remission and live full lives if the cancer is caught in the early stages. Connecticut families may be interested in the story of a woman who lost her mother due to a missed cancer diagnosis that she says could have prolonged her mother’s life.
The woman says that, several years ago, her mother went to a local emergency room with a cough that would not abate. A doctor suspected pneumonia and ordered an X-ray of her chest, but he decided the X-ray looked normal. He gave her a prescription for antibiotics and said she had a respiratory infection. Just over a year later, the woman’s mother went back to a hospital, complaining that the cough had gotten worse. A different physician diagnosed her with lung cancer, and she died around seven months later.
The woman decided to file a medical malpractice suit on behalf of her mother. She alleged that, had the first doctor properly interpreted the chest X-ray, her mother might have been diagnosed earlier and responded better to treatment. A jury sided with the woman and awarded her damages, finding the doctor liable.
Timeliness is crucial with a cancer diagnosis. If a patient’s condition goes undetected and untreated for too long, it may eventually rob them of their life and time with their loved ones. If a family here in Connecticut finds themselves in a similar situation, they may decide to file a civil claim that could result in financial compensation for the loss they may have suffered at the hands of a medical provider’s errors.
Source: The Boston Globe, “Overlooked lung cancer results in $16.7 million verdict against radiologist”, Yasmeen Abutaleb, June 30, 2014