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Failure to diagnose cancer in child, parents file lawsuit

In Maryland, and across the United States, patients turn to medical professionals for their expertise in proper diagnosis. The failure to diagnose properly can lead to death. Certain illnesses can be treated if caught in enough time. However, if left undetected, a cancer can spread and grow until the chances of reversing the illness are minimal.

In another state in November of 2012, a mother and father took their 18-month-old to their local medical center to be treated for what seemed like an upper respiratory infection. The doctor ordered a chest X-ray that would be read by not one, but two trained radiologists. Allegedly, the radiologist reported nothing out of the ordinary in his readings of the X-ray. Another radiologist was called in for a second opinion; he also found nothing suspicious.

In February 2015, at four years old, the child was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a cancer of the nerve cells. According to the suit that is being filed by his parents, the radiologists missed the 4-centimeter mass, an early sign of the cancer, which can be seen in the X-ray. The cancer was able to spread, undetected and untreated, for 27 months in the child. Though he is now undergoing chemotherapy, the lawsuit claims that the cancer has spread to his spine, skull, bones and tissue, which greatly reduces his chance of recovery. 

Citizens of Maryland might find themselves in a similar situation, where they believe a medical professional has caused further harm because of his or her failure to diagnose the patient. In the case of a doctor's negligence, the victim or victim's family has the right to file a civil suit. Compensation awarded as a result of a successful case can help the victim and/or the family with medical expenses and other losses caused by the medical malpractice.

Source:, "Lawsuit claims doctors failed to detect boy's cancer", Terrie Morgan--Besecker, July 10, 2015

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