Failure to Diagnose Brain Tumor Leads to $1.4 Million Verdict
As recently reported in New York, the family of an infant recently received a verdict of $1.4 million following a delay in diagnosing their child's brain tumor, a delay that caused the baby to lose his eyesight. In the medical negligence suit, the family alleged that the medical doctors failed to diagnose the tumor over a period of just 4 months following the onset of the child's symptoms. In defense, the doctors argued that the delay itself was so brief that even if the tumor had been timely and properly diagnosed, the child would have still lost his eyesight. The defense also argued that there was no way that the tumor could have grown to the extent that it did between the time of the alleged delay and subsequent discovery.
A physician's failure to timely diagnose a brain tumor can have potentially catastrophic consequences for the patient and his/her family. Patients can experience complications ranging from paralysis and brain damage to vision / hearing loss and death. As tumors in the brain get larger, they often cause a patient to experience various signs and symptoms. These signs and symptoms include memory loss, seizures, hearing loss, vision loss, sleep problems, headaches that last much longer than normal, other cognitive deficits, fatigue and nausea.
Physicians typically employ one of several diagnostic tests to diagnose the presence of a brain tumor. Those tests include CT scans, MRIs, angiograms, myelograms, x-rays of the head and biopsies. Unfortunately, errors can occur in reading these studies or a breakdown in communication between the radiologist and the requesting physician.
Other common errors that our attorneys see regularly in failure to diagnose brain tumor cases include the failure of nurses to accurately document a patient's signs and symptoms; failure of a nurse and doctor to communicate regarding a patient's condition; and the failure of a physician to timely order the appropriate studies. Any one of these failures can lead to a potentially catastrophic result and/or the death of the patient.
As experienced Baltimore / Washington D.C. attorneys, our lawyers routinely handle "failure to diagnose" or "failure to timely diagnose" cases. In nearly every instance, the negligent physician raises the defense that even if he / she had acted timely, there is no causation; i.e., the victim still would have suffered the same fate regardless of the negligence. Our lawyers have the experience and medical experts necessary to combat this defense effectively. Through the use of expert medical witnesses, our lawyers routinely debunk these types of defenses, by showing how an illness or disease has progressed during the delay in diagnosis; i.e., knowing the typical growth rate of a similar tumor over a period of days, weeks, months or years and applying those rates to the circumstances of each particular case. These demonstrations are often powerful evidence in a trial. If you or a loved one has been victimized by a failure to timely diagnose a particular illness or disease, call our team for a free consultation at (410) 385-2225 or visit our website to set up a free consultation.