Heart tumors often require cardiac surgery to correct. Because these tumors are rare, many doctors fail to consider them as a potential cause when a patient presents chest pain and other symptoms. Left untreated, a heart tumor will continue to grow and spread, making it more difficult to remove when finally discovered. If your doctor misdiagnosed or failed to diagnose this type of cancer, it could be considered medical malpractice. A heart tumor misdiagnosis lawyer can help you determine if you have a case.
At Medical Malpractice Help, we help patients pursue compensation from negligent doctors who failed to diagnose a medical condition. We offer free case evaluations, during which we can review your situation, answer your questions, and advise you of your legal options. To schedule an appointment to meet with a medical malpractice lawyer, call our office today at 800-916-7333.
Should My Doctor Have Been Able to Diagnose My Heart Tumor?
Cardiac tumors are so rare that many doctors do not preemptively screen for them the way they do for other conditions. However, physicians still have a duty of care to consider all potential causes of a patient’s symptoms, especially those that could have life-threatening consequences if they do not treat them promptly. Though only a small percentage of heart tumors are cancerous, all have the potential to become major medical issues if they do not receive proper medical treatment.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, most heart tumors are discovered on echocardiograms taken for other reasons. Heart tumors can also cause common symptoms of which doctors should be aware. These symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath;
- A persistent cough;
- Joint pain;
- General malaise.
Several of these symptoms are broad, and they carry dozens if not hundreds of potential causes. Still, it is a physician’s duty to their patient to look at the totality of each situation and investigate every possibility. If you went to your doctor with symptoms associated with a heart tumor and your doctor never thought to check for one, they cannot use the rarity or unlikeliness of the condition as a valid defense against a malpractice claim.
Treatment for Heart Tumors
A misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of a heart tumor can prevent medical treatment from being administered early. Prompt medical attention has the highest chance of success with the least risk and pain for the patient.
Most heart tumors require open heart surgery for removal. Doctors can often remove smaller tumors, however, using a robotic technique. This method is less invasive and uses a smaller incision. Once the tumor reaches a certain size, though, traditional open-heart surgery is almost always necessary. This is yet another reason why early detection and proper diagnosis are so critical for patients.
How Do Doctors Normally Diagnose Heart Tumors?
Doctors have several ways to detect and diagnose heart tumors. All of these methods involve standard medical tests, making it all the more inexcusable for a physician to forgo one or more of them out of ignorance.
The tests that can reveal the presence of a heart tumor include:
- CT scans;
- Radionuclide imaging.
If you went to your doctor with any of the symptoms listed in the previous section—or with any type of chest pain or discomfort—and your doctor did not order at least one of these tests or failed to interpret the results correctly, you might have grounds to file for medical malpractice.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit for a Heart Tumor Misdiagnosis?
At Medical Malpractice Help, our attorneys have fought and won numerous medical malpractice cases. We understand how to obtain evidence that proves the existence of malpractice. Every successful claim needs proof of four crucial points.
Duty of Care
First, we need to demonstrate that your doctor had a duty of care to you. This condition typically is the easiest one to satisfy, as the simple fact that they were your doctor implies they owed you a duty of care. We establish this duty by showing the existence of a doctor-patient relationship.
Breach of Duty
Second, we must prove that your doctor breached their duty of care to you. The success of a medical malpractice claim often hinges on whether the plaintiff and their lawyer can demonstrate a breach of duty.
To prove your doctor breached their duty of care, we must show that they failed to meet the “reasonable person” standard. This standard compares your doctor’s actions to the actions we would expect a reasonable physician in the same situation to take. If another doctor would likely have diagnosed your heart tumor, then your physician failed this standard and violated the standard of care. We can hold them responsible for that violation.
Third, we have to show that your doctor’s failure to uphold their duty of care caused you to suffer injuries. These injuries can include medical complications, the need for costly or invasive surgery, and pain and suffering. The key is the establishment of a direct link between your doctor’s actions and the harm you suffered.
Last, we must illustrate the economic and non-economic damages you suffered as a result of your injuries. The damages you can recover in a medical malpractice case typically include a combination of the following:
- Medical costs;
- Lost wages;
- Reduced earning capacity;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress;
- Loss of enjoyment of life;
- Scarring and disfigurement.
How Can I Discuss My Heart Tumor Misdiagnosis Case With an Attorney?
The Medical Malpractice Help team is ready to get to work for you today. We can help you fight for fair compensation from the doctor who misdiagnosed your heart tumor.