With the recent publication of statistics indicating that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States, concerns about becoming victims of malpractice are logical among Pennsylvania residents. Such errors can take many forms and involve medications, surgeries and more. The failure to diagnose cancer when evident in early stages is another all-too common cause of injury or death to patients.
Personal injuries can result from many different errors in medical treatment. Pennsylvania residents can be the victims of a surgical mishap or an incorrect medication being dispensed. They can also be subject to the failure to diagnose cancer or another serious condition. Sometimes, medical errors can even occur in part due to poor administrative practices that prevent the timely delivery of proper and full medical care.
Pennsylvania citizens are as concerned as their counterparts in the rest of the country about the alarming rate of medical errors. With reports indicating that such situations are the third leading cause of death in the United States, such fears appear to be warranted indeed. From a failure to diagnose cancer to a medication error and more, the nature and range of negligent acts is great. In some situations, delayed treatment can lead to a worsened condition and even death.
People in Pennsylvania and around the United States seek medical care every day. The rising concern about instances of medical malpractice can leave patients wondering who they can trust when. Some medical errors may be clearly identified at the time they occur while others may not be noticeable for some time. The failure to diagnose cancer properly, for example, is something that may not be immediately detectable.
Across the nation, the variation with which medical malpractice claims are handled is great. Some states impose limits on the amount of money that victims or their family members can receive from these claims while others, like Pennsylvania, have no limits whatsoever. Concerns among patient advocates about how to best protect patients against errors such as a failure to diagnose cancer or delayed treatment is great.
In a past post, we discussed how better patient-doctor communication in Pittsburgh can help prevent misdiagnosed cancer and other serious ailments. For instance, patients are encouraged to ask physicians why they arrived at a particular diagnosis and also if there is a possibility that the problem could be something else. Doctors are also being trained to better assess situations and complete more thorough exams.
No one deserves to get cancer; but everyone deserves a chance to fight the deadly disease when it invades their body. Unfortunately, not everyone gets that opportunity. While the exact survival statistics vary greatly based on what type of cancer a person has, one thing is constant: the sooner cancer is diagnosed, the better the chances of survival. A doctor’s delayed diagnosis or failure to diagnose cancer is essentially a death sentence.
There are a number of prescription drugs and medical treatments that can ease one’s pain and suffering even when faced with a terminal disease. A doctor’s failure to diagnose cancer, however, can deprive a person of comfort and quality of life.
Every day, physicians in Pennsylvania and every other state are trusted by patients to decide what tests are necessarily to make an accurate cancer diagnosis. They have to weigh the time and expense of medical tests with the probability of accurately diagnosing their patients without those tests. If they make the wrong decision, failure to diagnose cancer can have devastating effects for everyone involved.
If a person in Pennsylvania is diagnosed with cancer, it is often necessary to begin treatments immediately in order to save the life of the person. If a physician or other medical professional fails to diagnose the correct condition in a timely manner, delayed treatment can lead to the spread of the disease. In the worst situations, the patient may die from the failure to diagnose cancer by the doctor, and the family of the patient may choose to hold the medical professionals accountable.