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Hospital negligence results in fatal consequences

It can be difficult for Maryland residents to read about the tragic, sometimes fatal consequences that accompany medical mistakes. Whenever people are seriously injured because of hospital negligence, they have the right to pursue a civil action for monetary relief. The following is the story of one woman's journey, and the fatal consequences of one hospital's negligence.

The tragic accident occurred when the woman arrived at Kings County Hospital in New York for chest pain in 2010. The woman was worried that she might be having a heart attack. After arriving at the hospital, she was examined and an X-ray and EKG were performed. She was subsequently given a clean bill of health and released. Unfortunately, the doctor who attended to her was wrong, and his mistake had serious, life-threatening consequences.

Apparently the chest X-ray ordered by the emergency room physician showed a suspicious nodule in the woman's lung. The radiologist even recommended a follow up, but none of this was every related to the patient. Two years later, after returning to the emergency room for wheezing and shortness of breath, the woman was diagnosed with lung cancer. The nodule, which was first noticed more than two years earlier, had doubled in its size.

It is the woman's contention that if she was informed of the nodule, or provided adequate follow-up care, the cancer would have been eliminated. Instead, the hospital's failure in diagnosis has resulted in the cancer metastasizing to the woman's liver, spine and brain. She has been given between six months and a year to live. The woman has since filed a Notice of Claim, which is the first step in a medical malpractice lawsuit against the state in New York.

Maryland residents, particularly those struggling with a cancer misdiagnosis, are likely aware that early detection and treatment of an illness is often crucial. Providers whose negligence leads to a patient's injury or death can be held liable for their actions and associated costs through a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Source: NY Daily News, "Hospital's mistake leaves single Brooklyn mom with 6 months to live," Heidi Evans, January 06, 2013

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