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In 2010, a mother went to a hospital for an X-ray of her chest. To any radiologist or doctor who checked the X-rays, it should have been clear that there was a small mass on the woman’s lung, yet no further tests were ordered and the woman was never told of the potentially dangerous mass. Two years later, however, she went to the doctor because she was having trouble breathing, and it was discovered that she was dying from a curable form of lung cancer.
In this woman’s case, the hospital’s failure to diagnose cancer delayed her treatment so long that it was impossible for her to survive. If the doctors had just dug a little bit deeper after her chest X-ray, they would have been able to prescribe the correct treatment and she would have been able to live. While this horrific story of hospital negligence did not happen in Pittsburgh, these kinds of negligent acts happen throughout Pennsylvania each year.
Unfortunately, the mother died this past March, leaving behind an autistic daughter. Not only will the daughter grow up without her mother, but she may have to deal with severe financial constraints without her mother’s care and income. Had this case of medical negligence happened in Pennsylvania, a medical malpractice attorney could file a lawsuit on behalf of the girl, seeking compensation for her mother’s death. While it certainly would not replace her mother, it would at least take some of the financial stress of losing a parent off of the daughter.
Source: New York Daily News, “Proposed amendment to state’s medical malpractice rules dies in Albany,” Heidi Evans, June 25, 2013