Failure to Diagnose Lymphoma
The lymphatic system plays a critical role in the body’s immune functions, and swollen lymph nodes are often a sign that a person is fighting an infection. Enlarged lymph nodes or glands may also be a sign of lymphoma, a form of cancer. Unfortunately, many doctors disregard swollen lymph nodes and other common signs of cancer as minor symptoms and fail to diagnose lymphoma until the disease has progressed to an advanced stage. Doctors that carelessly neglect to provide their patients with prompt diagnoses may be liable for medical malpractice, and if you were harmed by a physician’s failure to diagnose lymphoma, you should confer with a lawyer about your options. The Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys of Arfaa Law Group are skilled at helping injured parties in the pursuit of damages, and if we represent you, we will work diligently on your behalf.Diagnosing Lymphoma
The symptoms of lymphoma often mimic other illnesses that commonly affect people. For example, swollen lymph nodes, fever, and night sweats can be caused by a variety of conditions, including infections and viruses. Some signs of lymphoma, like fatigue, sudden weight loss, and difficulty breathing, are less common but are typically cause for concern and immediate testing. Regardless of whether a patient presents with one or several signs of lymphoma, a doctor should conduct a thorough examination and, if necessary, perform the tests required to determine if a patient has cancer, such as an MRI or biopsy. The failure to conduct such tests typically results in the failure to diagnose lymphoma, which allows it to grow throughout the body. While many forms of lymphoma are treatable when caught early, they are deadly if permitted to spread untreated. Thus, the failure to diagnose lymphoma often results in reduced life expectancy and death.Seeking Compensation for the Failure to Diagnose Lymphoma
A missed or delayed lymphoma diagnosis is frequently the result of incompetent care. Thus, patients who suffer losses due to the failure to diagnose lymphoma can often recover damages via medical malpractice claims. Usually, medical malpractice is caused by carelessness rather than intentional acts. As such, a plaintiff in a medical malpractice case generally must prove the negligence of the defendant.
To establish medical negligence, a plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant had a duty to render treatment that aligned with the standard of care, which is defined as the care a reasonable person working in the same practice area as the defendant would provide when presented with a similar set of facts. Next, the plaintiff has to prove that the defendant’s behavior is considered a departure from the standard of care. In most cases, the judge or jury will not have an independent understanding of the applicable standard of care, and therefore, the plaintiff will need to retain a medical expert to explain the standard and the manner in which the defendant breached the standard.
The plaintiff then has to establish that the defendant’s deviation from the standard of care proximately caused the plaintiff to suffer harm. In other words, that the defendant’s acts substantially contributed to the plaintiff’s losses. This usually requires expert testimony as well, as the defendant may attempt to argue that the plaintiff’s harm was inevitable or was caused by another factor.
A plaintiff that proves a defendant committed medical malpractice may be awarded compensation for economic damages, such as the cost of medical care, out-of-pocket expenses, and lost wages, and non-economic damages, which typically refer to pain, suffering, and mental trauma.Consult a Dedicated Attorney in Baltimore
Many people diagnosed with lymphoma have a good prognosis, but patients who do not receive a prompt diagnosis often face worse outcomes. If you were harmed by a physician’s failure to diagnose lymphoma, you have the right to pursue compensation, and you should consult a lawyer as soon as possible. The dedicated attorneys of Arfaa Law Group are proficient at holding incompetent care providers responsible for the harm they cause, and if you hire us, we will advocate aggressively on your behalf. We have an office in Baltimore, where we frequently assist people with medical malpractice claims. You can reach us via our online form or at (410) 889-1850 to schedule a conference.