Woman suffers through chemo only to discover she never had cancer

Posted on Aug 23, 2013

Misdiagnosis is the most common reason for a medical malpractice claim according to a recent BMJ Open study. Here is an example in the news of those findings:

Ms. Herlinda Garcia, a 54-year old mother of four, was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer. After hearing this news, she underwent eight rounds of chemotherapy in over seven months. The stressful treatments and the thought of having breast cancer led Ms. Garcia to suffer significant anxiety and depression.  After she went to another doctor to treat her anxiety, she received some shocking news. The doctor determined that she never had cancer in the first place. 

“I was happy, but at the same time, I had that anger. The damage had been done,” Ms. Garcia said.

This is yet another classic case of how easily medical errors can happen. Ms. Garcia endured months of mental anguish and physical pain because one doctor misread her results. Was he qualified to interpret the results? Was he in a rush that day?

There should have been a system in place that caught his mistake, like referring the patient for a second opinion, requesting a consultation with another specialist, conferring with other physicians, etc.

Medical malpractice isn’t necessarily just a mistake, it’s about how the mistake was allowed to happen in the first place and why it wasn’t caught and corrected in time.   More often than not it’s a systems error – the hospital, HMO or doctor doesn’t have a system in place to make sure patients are safe.

If you suspect that you or a loved one was seriously injured because of medical mistakes by a hospital, HMO or doctor, get information that can help you and your family. For a free, confidential discussion call us at (202) 393-3320 and speak with a real, live person in Washington, D.C. (we don’t advertise so don’t have some call center in Florida or Alabama).

We will do our best to get you answers and information.  If we’re the right lawyers for you, we’ll do our best to help.  And if we can’t investigate a case for you, we’ll tell you why.  That’s how we do it.

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