, Misdiagnosis: lymphoma, breast cancer, cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, bowel cancer, gastric cancer
Cancer misdiagnosis is the failure to diagnose a cancer correctly and in a timely manner. It arises most commonly when a patient presents to their doctor with symptoms that would justify further investigation and the doctor does not react appropriately. Alternatively it can occur when investigations are conducted but the results are not read or interpreted correctly. In either case, the consequence for the patient will likely be a delay in the diagnosis of their cancer and resulting delay in the commencement of their cancer treatment. In many cases that delay will have a detrimental effect on the health and well-being of the patient. Having established a failure in the care that falls below and acceptable standard of care (as opposed to a delay or error that is within the acceptable standard of care), we must also show that harm has been caused or materially contributed to by that unacceptable error before we can prove negligence.
Cian O'Carroll Solicitors is currently representing a large number of clients who have suffered critical delays in the diagnosis of breast cancer, cervical cancers, cancers of the stomach and colon together with several clients affected by pharyngeal and prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment errors. Because of our experience in this very specialised area of legal practice, we are well positioned to advise our clients on the strength or otherwise of a case they may be considering and then progress that case, if taken, with speed and efficiency.
Where delays occur in the correct diagnosis of a cancer, patients can suffer in a number of different ways.
Loss of Chance of Survival
Most seriously, those who have suffered a misdiagnosis can suffer a loss of opportunity to make a good recovery. To put this another way, they may suffer a reduced chance to get better. This can be expressed as a percentage such as for example a 50% reduction in their chance of surviving the disease based on the statistical likelihood of being alive in say ten years time or as a period of years by which their ordinary life expectancy has been reduced.
Loss of chance of survival can be quite a complicated thing to assess and we work with a team of leading oncologists in a range of sub-specialties in the UK who advise us with expert opinions on all issues relating to whether an unacceptable failure has occurred in a patient's care, whether that failure has caused the patient harm and finally, the nature and extent of that harm.
Cancer misdiagnosis cases are often quite complex with multiple issues and so It is essential that such cases are considered at the earliest possible stage by an experienced medical negligence solicitor
More Aggressive Course of Treatment
A patient with a cancer misdiagnosis will often require more aggressive treatment due to the delay in correctly diagnosing the cancer. This may result in surgery that would otherwise not have been necessary, radiotherapy and chemotherapy that would otherwise have been of less intensity, less duration or not required at all.
We assess the additional treatment directly attributable to the failure to diagnose and ensure that this treatment, all related costs and expenses and any future medical expenses are included in your case for compensation.
In addition, patients may suffer a psychological or psychiatric injury such as depression or a shock reaction to learning of the misdiagnosis.
Finally, there may be significant out of pocket expenses arising from a misdiagnosis including medical expenses, travelling expenses, additional treatment costs including those relating to treatment abroad or access to clinical trials, home alterations, childcare costs, loss of earnings and all types of future care costs and losses.
Cian O'Carroll Solicitors are experienced in preparing and successfully prosecuting cases arising from cancer misdiagnosis against private hospitals, public hospitals under the HSE and individual specialist doctors such as surgeons, radiologists , pathologists and laboratories.
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