There was a 23-year-old female advised her primary health care provider that, during a normal self exam, she had discovered a tiny, pea size lump in the external portion of her left breast. She was suggested that she was "too young to have cancer" and told not to worry. The lump continued to rise and doubled in size. She returned to her primary health care provider and was again advised not to worry, that she was too young to be concerned with breast cancer. After the Two months , the patient returned to her health care provider and was examined by a different practitioner who immediately referred the plaintiff to a surgeon. The lump had spread and the cancerous mass that was removed resulted in a diagnosis of advanced Stage IV cancer.
The case proceeded to trial in Warren County Supreme Court and after three weeks of trial, including the presentation of numerous expert witnesses in women's health care, oncology and pathology, the plaintiff settled the matter for $1.08 million.
Yes, it Could have been avoided by Ensuring effective communication should become a systematic and integrated approach into overall efforts to minimize errors, improve outcomes, control med-mal costs, maintain contracts, and manage the reputation of your practice .
Source:Jeffrey D. Brunken, Head Physician,The MGIS Companies:2012
Jack H. Olender,Washington malpractice lawyer, reprinted article,2013