Do you want to learn more about what failure to diagnose a condition means and the most common types of negligence? Stick around as we discuss common types of medical malpractice cases.
0:55 Failure to Diagnose a Condition: Diagnosis
1:09 Prostate-Specific Antigen
Failure to diagnose is the most common cause of medical malpractice litigation. A fair diagnosis is usually a breach in the standard of care. That is to say a failure of the doctor to do something that a recent careful doctor would do, and that means that you can be talking about a whole variety of different kinds of medical conditions.
Failure to diagnose cancer results in a substantial delay in the diagnosis and the treatments of lung cancer. You know, I’m going to use that as an example. The patient comes in, says I’ve got a history of smoking and is coughing up blood.
0:55 Failure to Diagnose a Condition: Timely Diagnosis
Well, that might be due to bronchitis but it also might be due to lung cancer. To delay six months or a year on a case like with lung cancer really can be the difference between survival and death.
1:09 Common Types of Negligence: Prostate-Specific Antigen
I’ve seen patients come in and they get routine blood tests for prostate cancer, PSA, and a patient comes in with a sky-high PSA and the doctor either doesn’t look at the blood test or he doesn’t appreciate the significance of it being abnormal, and it isn’t repeated until the patient starts urinating blood, and then finally six months or a year later he gets an investigation and lo and behold he’s got prostate cancer, which is now spread to the lymph nodes or the lung or the liver and is incurable.
Those are classic examples of failure to diagnose cases. Frankly, they are the most common ones. Almost all of them involve breaches in the standard of care and damages because they suffered a heart attack or impending death and if the adequate time went by that then unfortunately they lost the opportunity to cure that cancer.