Laverne Wilkinson’s mentally handicapped daughter will soon be parentless because doctors at a New York City hospital failed to notice abnormalities on an X-ray image for more than two years.
Wilkinson, a 36-year-old single mother, went to the emergency room at Kings County Hospital when she was stricken with sudden chest pain in February 2010. She thought she was having a heart attack.
But a first-year doctor said her tests were fine and sent her home, the Daily News reported. He evidently didn’t see that the radiologist who studied her X-ray recommended follow-up exams due to the presence of a two-centimeter nodule in her lung.
“… Apparently nobody saw the report,” another doctor wrote more than two years later, when the nodule had doubled in size. Only then, in the spring of 2012, was Wilkinson told she had terminal lung cancer. It might have been prevented if doctors had acted swiftly after her 2010 visit, the doctor told her.
Wilkinson was given six months to a year to live.
Cancer Misdiagnosis: Dangerously Common
Cancer has become increasingly treatable due to advances in medicine in recent years. But it can’t be treated if you and your doctors don’t know you have it. For this reason, the odds of beating cancer are directly linked to how early it is diagnosed.
When trained, well-paid medical professionals fail in their responsibility to diagnose serious ailments like cancer, they need to be held accountable. Medical malpractice can only be curbed if institutions are forced to change their ways and practices in hopes of preventing these sorts of errors from happening.
The Daily News reported that Wilkinson has retained an attorney and filed a notice of claim, a precursor to a lawsuit. While no court judgment can undo the damage done to her health and her life, it can hold the hospital responsible for its failure to recognize her cancer and treat it appropriately. A substantial judgment might also help provide for her 15-year-old daughter when Wilkinson is gone.
According to the article, the girl is autistic and severally mentally handicapped.
The attorneys at Oshman & Mirsola, LLP have years of experience representing people harmed by the negligence or error of medical professionals. Contact us today if this has happened to you or your family. Time to file claims is limited.