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Medical Verdicts

Did misread mammogram lead to mastectomy?

May 2003 · Vol. 15, No. 5
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<court>Pima County (Ariz) Superior Court</court>

Upon presenting to her primary care physician, a 45-year-old woman complained of a mass in her breast. A mammogram performed at a breast center yielded negative results.

Later, the patient required a mastectomy and several breast reconstruction procedures.

In suing, the woman argued that the physician failed to refer her to a surgeon after the mammogram. She added that the lack of a timely referral delayed her diagnosis. She also claimed the breast center was negligent for not telling her to follow-up with her physician.

The physician argued that he was not negligent, since he referred the patient to the breast center for mammography and ultrasound and relied on the radiology report that came back negative. In addition, the physician claimed that any delay in diagnosis did not alter the patient’s treatment options. The breast center claimed that its reporting was not negligent.

  • The jury returned a verdict for the defense.

The cases presented here were compiled by Lewis L. Laska, editor of Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts. While there are instances when the available information is incomplete, these cases represent the types of clinical situations that typically result in litigation.

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