Was patient told of abnormal Pap result?
<court>Greene County (Mo) Circuit Court</court>
A Pap smear conducted at a routine gynecologic exam revealed abnormal findings; the woman claimed she never received the results.
At her next annual exam, 15 months later, Pap smear testing showed stage III cervical cancer. She died 4 years later at age 34.
In suing, her family maintained that not only did the physician fail to notify the woman of her abnormal findings, but that when she specifically asked office staff about the test results several months later, she was told “not to worry about it.” The plaintiffs maintained the delayed diagnosis led to the woman’s death.
The physician, however, argued that he did in fact speak to the woman about her results, and also notified her via mail of the need for follow-up.
- The jury returned a defense verdict.
The cases presented here were compiled by Lewis L. Laska, editor of Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts (www.verdictslaska.com). While there are instances when the available information is incomplete, these cases represent the types of clinical situations that typically result in litigation.