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Failure to Diagnose Leukemia

Baltimore Lawyers Helping People Pursue Medical Malpractice Claims

Leukemia is a serious disease, but doctors often disregard its symptoms or attribute them to other illnesses. A patients’ prognosis greatly improves with a prompt diagnosis, and the failure to diagnose leukemia can result in a diminished quality of life or reduced life expectancy. People expect doctors to provide them with timely and accurate diagnoses, and when they fail to do so, they should be held accountable for any resulting harm. If you sustained losses due to a delayed or missed leukemia diagnosis, it is in your best interest to contact an attorney about your potential claims. The skilled Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys of Arfaa Law Group possess the knowledge and resources needed to hold careless doctors responsible for their mistakes, and if you hire us, we will work diligently to help you seek a just outcome.

Diagnosing and Treating Leukemia

Leukemia is a blood cancer that usually begins in the cells of a person’s bone marrow. There are multiple types of leukemia, but they all cause similar symptoms. Specifically, people with leukemia often bruise easily, bleed excessively, and suffer from anemia, pale skin, and fever. They may also have enlarged livers or spleens, headaches, nausea, and flu-like symptoms. People with leukemia often experience frequent infections, higher than normal white blood cell counts, and red blood cell deficiencies as well. Leukemia is generally diagnosed through a series of tests, including blood tests, MRIs, and bone marrow biopsies. Thus, the failure to diagnose leukemia is largely caused by the lack of proper testing or a misinterpretation of test results.

The treatment provided for leukemia depends on numerous factors, including the age of the patient, the type of leukemia they have, and the progression of the disease. Treatments commonly offered include radiation, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and bone marrow transplants. Leukemia patients are often offered supportive and palliative care as well.

Seeking Damages for the Failure to Diagnose Leukemia

Many leukemia patients recover with treatment and go on to lead typical lives. A physician’s failure to diagnose leukemia, however, can greatly diminish a patient’s chance of a successful outcome. Fortunately, people harmed by a missed or delayed leukemia diagnosis have the right to pursue medical malpractice claims against their doctors.

Typically, a plaintiff in a medical malpractice case will allege that the defendant was negligent. In Maryland, establishing negligence in the context of medical care requires a plaintiff to demonstrate that the defendant had a duty to abide by the standard of care, which is the treatment that a competent practitioner working in the same specialty as the defendant would offer in a similar situation. The plaintiff then must show that the defendant breached the standard of care. For example, if a reasonable doctor would perform a bone marrow biopsy on a patient that presents with persistent bruising and headaches and the defendant failed to do so, it may constitute a breach. Last, the plaintiff has to prove that the defendant’s breach of the standard of care proximately caused the plaintiff’s harm. In other words, that the plaintiff’s losses would not have occurred if the defendant had diagnosed the plaintiff’s leukemia in a timely manner. Typically, expert testimony is required to enlighten the judge or jury as to the defendant’s obligations under the applicable standard of care and the manner in which the defendant breached the standard. Expert testimony is also needed to link the defendant’s departure from the standard and the plaintiff’s ultimate harm.

Speak to a Trusted Baltimore Attorney

Leukemia is often treatable when it is caught in the early stages, but when it is not recognized until after it has progressed, it can cause significant harm. If you sustained injuries due to your doctor’s failure to diagnose leukemia, you might be owed damages, and you should speak to an attorney. The trusted Baltimore lawyers of Arfaa Law Group can advise you of your options for seeking justice and set forth persuasive arguments on your behalf. We have an office in Baltimore, where we frequently represent people in medical malpractice cases. You can contact us via our online form or by calling us at 410-889-1850 to set up a meeting.