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Hospital misdiagnosis, repeated doctor error devastating to mom

No matter where it happens, medical professional negligence is a serious issue. A woman has filed the first step in a potential suit against the city for hospital negligence, two years after a visit to the emergency room could have caught the early stages of cancer in her right lung. When the now 41-year-old single mother went to the hospital for chest pains in February 2010, she was afraid she might be having a heart attack. However, a first-year resident sent her home with instructions to take pain medication after finding nothing wrong with her EKG and chest X-ray.

After the woman had gone home, a radiologist saw the suspicious nodule on her X-ray and noted that she should go in for a follow-up X-ray in three months -- a recommendation that was never passed on to the patient. This failure to diagnose the early stage of her condition ultimately led to uncontrolled stage 4 lung cancer that eventually spread to her left lung, liver, spine, and brain.

Now facing only six months to a year to live, the woman worries what will happen to her severely disabled daughter when she's gone. She also can't understand how the misdiagnosis of her illness happened over and over after repeated trips to the doctor for a chronic and worsening cough that was merely attributed to her asthma.

Sadly, the woman recently learned that had the doctor error been corrected in time, she may have had a 75 percent chance of being cured. A fellow member of her church, a law school professor, suggested that she contact a medical malpractice attorney about her case. Potentially fatal medical errors like these occur in hospitals and practices across the country, and people who have been wronged deserve to hold the appropriate people accountable.

Source: New York Daily News, "Hospital's mistake leaves single Brooklyn mom with 6 months to live," Heidi Evans, Jan. 6, 2013

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