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Failure to accurately report test results causes medical mistake

Baby boomers are looking to enjoy a long and healthy retirement in Ohio. One proactive measure that many take to help ensure that outcome is to have a cancer screening. Recommended screenings include colonoscopies, mammograms and monitoring moles and other irregularities for possible skin cancers. While having the tests done is an excellent idea, a medical mistake can severely limit the efficacy of the test itself.

A recent case illustrates how failure to accurately report test results can have a catastrophic impact on a patient's life. A woman went for a colonoscopy when she turned 50. The examination revealed a polyp in the colon. Polyps can be cancerous and are typically removed if encountered in a colonoscopy and sent to a lab for further examination. That occurred in this case and the polyp was found to be cancerous, and there was evidence that not all of the cancer had been removed.

The results of the lab's findings were not reported to the patient and in fact she was told she did not need another colonoscopy for three years. The cancer continued to spread and about 15 months later the patient consulted a physician, complaining of uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms. The cancer had spread to her liver in the intervening time period and had gone from a Stage I treatable cancer to a stage IV incurable cancer. The patient died less than two years later.

People trust doctors and lab technicians to be diligent in doing their jobs and to accurately and promptly report test results to doctors and their patients. Failure to do so can have life-threatening consequences. In an effort to be sure that a patient receives accurate information, one may wish to seek additional information upon receiving one's test results in an attempt to prevent a medical mistake. If a person believes a medical mistake concerning test results in Ohio contributed a to a serious or fatal illness, one may wish to consult with a personal injury attorney. A lawyer can review the case and help the client to determine if a civil lawsuit is a viable option.

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