Published on:

New Study Finds that Machinery Intended to Screen for Breast Cancer is Less Effective than Originally Thought

Illinois medical malpractice lawsuits can arise when people are injured by careless or intentional acts on the part of a doctor, nurse, hospital, or other healthcare provider. Healthcare professionals owe a duty of care to their patients, and when that duty is breached – such as in situations where the provider fails to diagnose an illness – the failure is said to be a “tort,” or civil wrong, which can provide the basis for a lawsuit. As a result, the healthcare professional or institution may be made to pay damages to put the injured person back in the position he or she was in prior to being injured.

Furthermore, cases of missed diagnosis are as dangerous as any other kind of medical malpractice. When doctors and other healthcare professionals fail to diagnose ailments as a result of either carelessness or failing to conduct the appropriate tests, those health professionals may be liable for injuries that occur as a result of their failures to act. Additionally, when equipment is to blame for the failure to diagnose an injury or illness, liability may fall upon the manufacturer of the machines, as well as on the healthcare professionals charged with using the tools.

According to a recent report by MSNBC, a new study has found that three types of screening methods used to determine whether breast cancer has spread to other parts of the body only spotted a small portion of tumors that had done so. As a result, this may mean that bone scans, liver ultrasounds and chest X-rays may not have a significant role to play in tracking the stage a breast cancer is at, particularly for tumors that are diagnosed earlier, the researchers added.

Breast cancer, when it metastasizes, often travels to the bone, liver and lungs; as a result, many physicians choose to assess metastases in areas other than the patient’s breast to determine whether cancer has spread. These three techniques are significantly less expensive than other options that are available, but are not nearly as effective. In fact, combined data from the study found detection rates of only 0.51 percent, 0.82 percent, 2.43 percent for chest X-ray, liver ultrasound and bone scans, respectively.

Whether a result of physician error or machine inability, the failure to diagnose a serious illness is often grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. Our attorneys have extensive experience with the unique challenges and complexities of medical malpractice law, which has enabled them to achieve many multimillion dollar verdicts and settlements for our clients, including a $17.7 million medical malpractice settlement for a former police officer who suffered a life-altering brain injury due to nursing staff negligence at a Chicago hospital, and a $2.25 million medical malpractice settlement for failure to diagnose infection for a 5-year-old boy, who had survived a bone marrow transplant from his brother to treat his acute myleucytic leukemia and resulting graft versus host disease, developed septic shock, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and intercerebral hemorrhage causing his death.

If you or a loved one have suffered as a result of a medical provider’s negligence, contact an attorney to understand your rights under the law. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.