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Failure to Diagnose Retinoblastoma

Baltimore Lawyers Representing People Harmed by Medical Malpractice

Few things are as harrowing for parents as hearing that their children have cancer. As with adults, a prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment are critical for a good prognosis in children affected by cancer. For example, retinoblastoma, a cancer that primarily impacts children, has a high survival rate when it is caught and treated in its early stages. Delayed diagnoses can lead to blindness and fatal complications, however. In many instances, the failure to diagnose retinoblastoma is the result of carelessness, and it may be grounds for pursuing medical malpractice claims against the physician that failed to provide an accurate assessment. If you or your child suffered losses due to a doctor’s ineptitude, you should meet with an attorney to evaluate your options for seeking damages. The proficient Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers of Arfaa Law Group are mindful of the devastation a missed or delayed diagnosis can cause, and if you hire us, we will work tirelessly to help you seek a just result.

Diagnosing Retinoblastoma

Retinoblastoma is a rare type of cancer that develops in the immature cells of the eye. Retinoblastoma develops rapidly, and while it can affect adults, it is generally diagnosed in children following routine eye exams during well baby visits. Most children who are diagnosed with retinoblastoma survive with appropriate care, but some lose their vision or have to have their affected eyes removed. Generally, the success of treatment and the retention of vision depends on when the cancer is diagnosed. Symptoms of retinoblastoma include impaired vision, red and irritated eyes, and an abnormal appearance of the retina.

Establishing Liability for the Failure to Diagnose Retinoblastoma

The failure to diagnose retinoblastoma can have life-altering consequences, and parties harmed by such oversights will often seek damages via a medical malpractice lawsuit. In most cases, medical malpractice is the result of neglect rather than intentional acts. As such, a plaintiff in a medical malpractice case will typically assert a negligence claim against the defendant. Under Maryland law, negligence is made up of four parts, and a plaintiff must establish each component to prove liability.

First, the plaintiff has to prove that the defendant had a duty to provide care that met the applicable standard, which is defined as the treatment that a reasonable practitioner working in the same specialty would offer in a similar situation. Second, the plaintiff has to prove that the defendant deviated from the standard of care in some way. Third, the plaintiff must demonstrate that they suffered actual harm, and fourth, they must link the harm suffered to the defendant’s breach of the standard of care. While the violation of the standard does not have to be the sole cause of the plaintiff’s losses, it must be a significant factor in bringing them about, and the plaintiff must show that the harm would not have occurred absent the defendant’s breach.

Typically, the plaintiff will need to offer testimony from a medical expert regarding the standard of care and the defendant’s departure from the standard and to establish damages and causation. Generally, the expert must be a person with experience working in the same specialty as the defendant. A plaintiff that adequately demonstrates a defendant’s liability may be granted compensation for the economic and non-economic losses they suffered.

Speak to an Experienced Baltimore Attorney

Retinoblastoma is generally treatable, but delayed diagnoses can allow it to spread to the point where the standard course of care is ineffective. If you or your child suffered harm due to a doctor’s failure to diagnose retinoblastoma, you might be owed damages, and it is advisable to contact an attorney. The experienced Baltimore lawyers of Arfaa Law Group take pride in helping families shattered by incompetent medical care in the pursuit of damages, and if we represent you, we will zealously pursue the best legal outcome possible under the facts of your case. We have an office in Baltimore, where we frequently represent parties injured by medical malpractice. You can reach us through our online form or by calling us at 410-889-1850 to set up a consultation.