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Misdiagnosis of a sore throat can be a serious medical matter

| Jan 21, 2021 | Failure To Diagnose, Medical Malpractice

A sore throat is a condition that causes many North Carolina residents to seek medical attention, never expecting a potentially very serious diagnosis to follow. This is also the common assumption of a physician as well, who then will diagnose the problem and typically prescribe a first-line defense.

When the initial treatment is not effective, doctors commonly further evaluate the sore throat for a more in-depth diagnosis, such as swollen tonsils. The problem is that both tonsillitis and cancer often begin in the very same manner, and it is often vital to catch any type of oral cancer in the very beginning.

Typical tests

There are multiple tests that physicians can use to evaluate throat problems. The inspection usually begins with a small amount of tissue being removed and observed under a microscope. Subsequent additional tests can include x-rays or blood tests, with the most serious being an MRI or even a PET scan. In many medical malpractice cases, this advanced testing is often not implemented until the condition has worsened significantly.

How malpractice can apply

A standard sore throat or case of tonsillitis is actually a very common illness. But, there are some symptoms that doctors miss completely or do not include as a potential indication of cancer. Signs of cancer can be present early and not considered when the treating physician is not thorough in evaluating the problem. An obvious symptom that physicians can miss is actually the size of a swollen tonsil, as even a small two cm growth can be an indication of cancer in the early stages.

Using a failed diagnosis as evidence in a medical malpractice case

A simple failure to diagnose cancer based on the size of a tonsil that could be tumorous is a prime example of evidence that North Carolina medical malpractice lawyers can focus on when presenting a case in court. While some cancers can indeed be difficult to detect based on initial symptom observation, the size of a tumor is central to every case of cancer and an obvious problem that should be detected in standard treatment methods.