Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional fails to do what they are required to do based on the established rules within the medical community. The rules are called the standard of care. When a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional does not follow the established rules within the medical community, the doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional has not met or has breached, the standard of care. The breach of the standard of care by a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional can cause severe injury and even death to the patient.
Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals are required to know the symptoms and warning signs associated with cancer. Common symptoms may include pain, fatigue, unexplained weight loss, fever, and unusual bleeding. When a patient reports these symptoms or similar symptoms to a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional, they are required to conduct necessary exams, order appropriate tests or imaging studies, accurately read the tests and imaging studies, and prescribe treatment as necessary to either diagnose, rule out or treat cancer.
Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals may go through what is called a differential diagnosis. A differential diagnosis is when a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional considers all of the symptoms a patient has and determines what is the most likely cause of those symptoms based on the symptoms, the patient’s medical history, laboratory tests or imaging studies, and the physical exam. When a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional does not recognize the symptoms associated with cancer and does not do what is required of them to test for and diagnose cancer, or misdiagnoses the cancer, that leads to a delayed diagnosis of cancer.
Diagnosing cancer in a timely manner is vital in order to increase the patient’s chances of survival. When a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional is negligent and the diagnosis of cancer is delayed, the patient’s chances of survival decrease, there may be fewer treatment options available to the patient, there may be more complications in the treatment of the patient’s cancer, and the patient’s quality of life decreases. This is tragic and devastating news to the patient and their family.
A doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional is required to document all of the symptoms of a patient in the patient’s medical records. The patient’s medical records are important to show that the doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional knew about the patient’s symptoms and was required to take certain steps to diagnose cancer.
The doctors, nurses, or other healthcare professionals sued in a medical malpractice case for delayed diagnosis of cancer often claim that diagnosing the cancer earlier would not have made a difference in treatment or outcome. This is why documentation is so critical. It is important to have an experienced medical malpractice attorney that knows the issues associated with delayed diagnosis cases so your interests are adequately represented and protected.
When a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional delays in diagnosing cancer, the patient or the patient’s family is entitled to monetary damages. This compensation may include emotional distress, loss of a normal life, pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and wrongful death damages of grief.
At Vinkler Law Offices, we have extensive experience in cases involving delayed diagnosis of cancer. If you or a loved one has suffered a delayed diagnosis of cancer in the Chicago area, you need experienced medical malpractice attorneys that will fight for you and your family to obtain justice and full and fair compensation for your injuries.
Contact us today for a free consultation and case evaluation at 630-655-9545.
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