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Better to be safe then sorry?

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  • Jurydoctor@aol.com
    ... He didn t think it was cancer, but because of her history and her ... The pathologist told the surgeon there was no cancer. This prompted the surgeon to
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 28, 2002
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      Nurse sues for Malpractice:

      > Holly is a nurse at Memorial Hospital. There is a family
      > history of cancer and her mother recently passed away from cancer, so when
      > she was advised that there was a suspicious area in a routine mammogram,
      > she
      > was understandably concerned. She went to the surgeon who had treated her
      > parents.

      He didn't think it was cancer, but because of her history and her
      > concerns, he recommended a biopsy. This was done at Memorial
      > Hospital. The pathology report was positive for breast cancer.
      > As a consequence, her surgeon recommended a lumpectomy with lymph node
      > sampling as well as a biopsy of the other breast for which there had been
      > similar mammographic findings. This time the surgeon took the tissue
      > samples to the pathologist himself to have them immediately reviewed under
      > the microscope.

      The pathologist told the surgeon there was no cancer. This
      prompted the surgeon to question the earlier biopsy. The earlier slide was
      > examined again and this time the pathologist interpreted it as benign. He
      > issued an amended pathology report to reflect that the original findings
      > were benign.

      Unfortunately, Holly had already been told that she had
      > cancer and would likely need chemotherapy and radiation. She had also
      > undergone additional surgery. Although the cosmetic result has been good,
      > she has additional scarring that she would not have had but for this
      > surgery. She also continues to have diminished sensation under the arm and
      > breast at the surgical site, as well as continued pain and periodic
      > swelling.

      She developed a hospital-bound infection which had to be treated
      > and which prolonged her recovery. She also has at least some risk of
      > developing lymphedema at some point in her life as a result of the excision
      > of the lymph nodes. This is a painful and disabling condition in which the
      > arm can swell gruesomely. The risk is extremely slight in her case, but it
      > can't be eliminated based on the medical literature.

      As a nurse she is > aware of the potential problem. As a consequence, she
      > follows certain precautions that are recommended for persons at risk, such
      > as limiting her
      > lifting, avoiding tight clothing or undue pressure or use of the affected
      > dominant arm, and she knows to consult a physician immediately if she
      > suffers any injury to the arm which can trigger lymphedema. She recently
      > had an insect bite and that prompted a course of antibiotics because of
      > this
      > risk.

      Also, for a very brief but harrowing period of time, she thought she > had
      > cancer. Even though she has been assured that this is not true, she has
      > continued anxieties over the mistake that was made. It has never been
      > explained to her or her physician how this mistake occurred. For this
      > reason, she has a small but unshakeable fear that the pathologist made a
      > mistake interpreting both tissue samples or that her slide was confused
      > with
      > someone elses tissue who has cancer and doesn't know it. Her trust has
      > been shaken and even though she knows her fears have likely been addressed,
      > it is something that she can't easily resolve.

      Finally, she is concerned > about her insurability should she have to fill
      > out an application for insurance in the future and is asked whether she has
      > ever been diagnosed with cancer.

      She is not sure how she can honestly answer that question and
      > whether it will produce problems getting coverage. Although it shouldn't,
      > it may be something that she will be obligated to explain and hope that the
      > explanation is accepted by anyone considering the risk of insuring her.
      > Ofcourse, the defense will rightfully argue that the error was corrected as
      > soon as it was possible to do so and that the damages are minimal.

      Now here is the interesting part.- both sides are looking to settle- the sole
      issue is how much should Holly Sands receive for her pain, suffering,
      what is her case worth?
      thanks in advance..


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