Hospital initiates reforms after woman’s death


06
August
2013

One New York hospital has reformed their practices after a woman died due to medical negligence. According to the report, it was discovered in 2010 by doctors that the woman had an abnormal lung nodule. She was not informed of the discovery. Within two years, she had lung cancer that spread to other internal organs. She died in early 2013 as a result of the cancer.

One news agency, which reported on the woman’s case during her final months, discovered that a hospital resident told the woman that her test results were normal. Over the next two years, the woman suffered from chronic breathing difficulties. The original x-ray, which indicated that the woman had an abnormal nodule in her lung, was not found until 2012. The woman passed away from the illness, leaving behind a daughter.

According to state and city officials, the hospital’s radiology department must now inform other hospital staff if there is an abnormal test result. In addition, the patients must be given their test results before they leave the hospital, or, if that is not possible, staff must follow up with the patient to inform them of the results.

The woman received a settlement for just over $600,000 from the city, though it was not stated in the report how the award was obtained. However, she could have potentially won millions had the mistake been discovered before the statute of limitations expired, which is 15 months after the accident occurred in New York.

In New York, those who are harmed by medical malpractice or negligence only have a short amount of time to file for compensation. Unfortunately, the statute of limitations begins when the mistake is first made, not when it is discovered by the patient. Therefore, a discussion with an experienced medical malpractice attorney may be beneficial to those patients suffering from hospital mistakes.

Source: New York Daily News, “Lavern Wilkinson lives on through Brooklyn hospital change after cancer death“, Heidi Evans, July 30, 2013

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