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Medical Misdiagnosis Lawsuit

On July 13, 2013, a Texas jury awarded $367,500 to a 54-year-old woman who had to undergo a seven-month-long chemotherapy treatment after being wrongly diagnosed with breast cancer. According to the misdiagnosis lawsuit filed in a Victoria county, the mother of four had a lump in her left breast in 2009. Though it was a benign tumor, her doctor misread the pathology report post-surgery and misidentified routine inflammations for symptoms of Stage IV terminal breast cancer with a less-than a year life span. The plaintiff went for eight rounds of chemotherapy and took over 10 types of medications before another biopsy at the Houston-based MD Anderson Cancer Center in 2011 revealed that she was a victim of breast cancer misdiagnosis.

In June 2013, a similar cancer misdiagnosis lawsuit led to a $200,000 award for a Maine man wrongly diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Doctors misread his treatable non-Hodgkins lymphoma as Stage 4 pancreatic cancer and he had to undergo chemotherapy and medication, resulting in tremendous emotional distress. In April, a New York court ordered Middleton-based Radiologic Associates, P.C., to pay $2.1 million in damages to a man for failure to diagnose a spinal lesion that led to delayed treatment and loss of sensation in his legs.

Medical Misdiagnosis Lawsuit The Meaning

Diagnosis of every disease must follow a systemic method that includes identification of symptoms, recommendation of diagnostic tests, and proper analysis of test reports in the light of the patient’s medical history. The doctor must make detailed preliminary and secondary investigations to confirm any serious illness and refer the patient to any specialist at the earliest. Any deviation from the standard process leading to wrong or delayed diagnosis can severely impact the life and health of patients. On February 15, 2013, JAMA medical journal published a medical misdiagnosis report claiming that misdiagnosis accounted for the highest number of patient injury or death because of medical error. It listed cancer, heart stroke, kidney failure, pneumonia, and infections as the most serious misdiagnosed conditions. According to the report, misreading of patient’s medical history or prescribing wrong tests during the patient-doctor clinical encounters is the most common medical misdiagnosis reported followed by referral mistakes.

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