A patient diagnosed with cancer thinks the diagnosis should have come earlier. What do they do?
Failure to diagnose is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. today. Failure to diagnose is also referred to as misdiagnosis or even wrong diagnosis, although misdiagnosis usually means a wrong diagnosis and the wrong treatment. Wrong diagnosis may also mean the wrong conclusion about a disease and the wrong treatment being prescribed.
“What if this happened to you? What if you were diagnosed with cancer too late to do anything about it and you are certain the doctor messed up?” asked Christopher Mellino. Mellino is a Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer of the Mellino Law Firm LLC, in Ohio. The answer to that question typically revolves around being able to prove that the plaintiff is more likely right than wrong, that inappropriate medical care ended in serious injury to a patient/plaintiff.
There are a certain number of factors that need to be addressed in situations like this and, each one of them would need to be assessed and evaluated by a medical expert; one who has treated the plaintiff or reviewed their records. “As a medical malpractice lawyer, there are a number of things I would be asking you, if you brought your case to me. The first thing I would need to know is what your present cancer diagnosis happens to be and what stage it is, along with the type of cancer you have,” Mellino said.
Other questions a good medical malpractice lawyer will have about the potential for a failure to diagnose case would center on the information about whether or not the type of cancer the patient has is fast or slow moving, what symptoms a patient had early on that a doctor should have done something about to lead to a cancer diagnosis, what kind of treatment would a patient have been prescribed if it had been caught earlier and whether the current treatment is different than what a patient would have received had the diagnosis come earlier.
“There are more questions that I would need answers to, but you get the idea. This is a complex process and we need to know your situation inside/out and from various angles. I even need to know your prognosis, age, occupation, living circumstances and if your cancer had been caught in time, would the outcome or treatment(s) be different?” Mellino said.
These are tough questions, as no one wants to face their mortality head on, but these are questions that need to be answered in order for a Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer to assess the merits of a potential med mal case. In most instances as well, the answers to the questions a med mal lawyer will ask are best answered by the cancer specialist treating the patient.
“Is this an easy thing to do? Not always, as most doctors are reluctant to criticize another colleague. But the more information you can get, the better for your case,” Mellino said.
To learn more, visit http://www.christophermellino.com.