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Hospital to pay millions to patient for failing to detect cancer

Residents of Ohio may be interested in a medical malpractice case that has been decided in Maine. A woman from that state has been awarded nearly $10 million in a case she filed against a hospital. The complaint stated that the hospital failed to detect cervical cancer even though the woman had regular Pap smears and other tests.

The 63-year-old woman's cancer was eventually detected in 2011. It was diagnosed as stage 3 cervical cancer, and the patient was told that she had a less than a 50 percent chance of survival. Her cancer is now in remission. According to her attorney, she has undergone chemotherapy and surgeries. The lawyer stated that if abnormal cells had been detected after a Pap test in 2009, she could have had an outpatient procedure that would have given her a 100 percent chance of recovery. A hysterectomy in 2010 would have given her a 95 percent chance of recovery, the lawyer said.

The jury in this case, which may be the biggest medical malpractice award in Maine history, found that a lab technician had misread the results of a Pap test the patient had in 2009. The woman was awarded $7.65 million, and her husband was awarded $2 million.

Health care practitioners who make mistakes that cause injury or suffering to patients may be liable for the resulting damages. In some cases, the health care facility where the procedure took place may be responsible as well. A medical malpractice attorney might examine an injured patient's medical records and consult with medical experts to determine if medical negligence was the cause of the damage.

Source: AOL, "Maine woman awarded $10 million after cancer screenings misread", May 21, 2015

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