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Failure to diagnose cancer in children

When New York parents learn that one of their children has cancer, emotional turmoil can result. Every day throughout the country, 43 children receive the news that they have some form of cancer, and their families must prepare for the challenges that come with treatment. A misdiagnosis of cancer for a child, however, exposes the young person to treatments that might not be necessary. Physical harm could result on top of the fearful feelings experienced by the family.

According to research from Johns Hopkins Hospital, physicians could be incorrectly classifying approximately 20 percent of cancer cases. Outright misdiagnosis occurs in one out of 71 cancer cases, which includes child patients.

Annually, about 40,000 children receive cancer treatments. Cancer claims the lives of 12 percent of them. The extensive reach of childhood cancers crosses socioeconomic lines and includes diverse ethnic groups and both genders.

A family that discovers a child underwent unnecessary or incorrect cancer treatment might have experienced substantial financial consequences on top of pain and suffering. An attorney who has experience in medical malpractice cases could assist in the investigation of what went wrong. Sources of misdiagnoses include misinterpreting an MRI or the failure to perform a timely biopsy. A delay in diagnosis or a misdiagnosis could be cause for a medical malpractice lawsuit.

In order to be successful, it will have to be demonstrated that the error caused the patient harm and that there was a failure on the part of the health care practitioner to exhibit the requisite standard of care. An attorney will attempt to do so through the use of expert medical testimony and other evidence.

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