Woman with Terminal Cancer Sues Doctor for Negligence
Patient Did What She Was Supposed to Do
In 2007 Ms. Delongchamps did what ever careful woman is supposed to do. She went for a checkup and pap-smear with her gynecologist. She says she told her doctor about her family history of cervical cancer. She never heard back from the doctor so she assumed that her test results were fine.
However, a year and a half later she began to have uncontrollable bleeding and went back to see the gynecologist. After looking at her chart the doctor realized that the results of the pap-smear indicated Ms. Delongchamps had cancer. But nobody ever told her about the test results!
Ms. Delongchamps says that if the doctor had simply picked up the phone to call her she could have received treatment early enough to save her life.
No News May Not be Good News:
Many of us assume when our doctor orders lab tests or x-rays that our doctor will call us if there is anything we need to be concerned about. Many of my clients have told me that they thought their doctor would call them if there was something wrong with their test results or if they need further follow-up.
Unfortunately, no news is not always good news. Sometimes test results aren’t delivered to the doctor, medical reports get misfiled, or doctors simply forget to alert their patients that they need further follow-up care.
Three Questions That Could Save Your Life
If your doctor orders you to undergo medical tests or refers you to another doctor for a consultation there are three questions that you should ask:
1. How long will it take before I have the test or get the appointment?
2. When will you get the results back?
3. When will I hear from you again?
If you have been referred for medical tests you need to know how long you should expect to wait to have the test. That way you can follow up in case someone forgot to make the appointment.
You need to know when you should expect to hear back from your doctor. Let’s face it. Doctors are human. They are busy. They forget. If you don’t hear back from your doctor pick up the phone and make the call.
It may just save your life.