Advances in medicine have greatly improved the treatment options for many people suffering from cancer. A prompt diagnosis is key to a good prognosis, however. Thus, missed or delayed diagnosis often negatively impacts a person’s health and long-term survival rates, and doctors that fail to diagnose their patients with cancer may be liable for medical malpractice. Recently, a Maryland court discussed what evidence a plaintiff must offer to establish that a delayed diagnosis caused actual harm, in a matter in which it ultimately dismissed the plaintiff’s claims. If you or a loved one suffered losses due to a doctor’s failure to offer a timely diagnosis, it is smart to meet with a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your rights.
The Facts of the Case
It is reported that the decedent presented to the emergency department of a hospital in May 2015 with complaints of back pain, abdominal pain, and nausea. He underwent an examination and diagnostic imaging. The results of his tests were reviewed by the defendant, who determined that no abnormalities were present. The decedent was diagnosed with pancreatitis and discharged.
Allegedly, in November 2015, the decedent returned to the emergency department with complaints of abdominal pain, and additional images of his abdomen were obtained. Upon review of the images, the treating doctor observed a pancreatic body mass. The decedent was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died the following month. The plaintiff, as representative of the decedent’s estate, filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant, arguing that his failure to diagnose the decedent caused measurable harm. The defendant moved for summary judgment, and the court granted his motion. The plaintiff appealed. Continue Reading ›