| Read Time: 3 minutes | Medical Malpractice
leukemia misdiagnosis

A leukemia misdiagnosis can have deadly results. If you or a loved one received a misdiagnosis, you might have the right to pursue compensation from the medical provider.

Mistakes can happen. But when a mistake rises to the level of negligence, you can file a medical malpractice claim.

To learn more about your legal rights, contact a New Mexico medical malpractice lawyer at Poulos & Coates, LLP today.

How to Test for Leukemia

Doctors can sometimes detect leukemia with a blood test before a person exhibits symptoms. Blood tests can show abnormal platelets or white blood cells. Doctors will conduct a physical exam to check for other symptoms and signs.

Another test is to check a person’s bone marrow. The process requires a long needle to extract bone marrow from the person’s hip.

What Can Cause a Misdiagnosis of Leukemia?

Sometimes, leukemia doesn’t show symptoms until the disease progresses, which can contribute to a misdiagnosis. Some symptoms can mimic other illnesses or diseases. Symptoms vary depending on the type of leukemia. Possible signs of leukemia include:

  • Persistent fatigue and weakness,
  • Easy bruising or bleeding,
  • Fever or chills,
  • Recurrent nosebleeds,
  • Severe or frequent infections,
  • Enlarged spleen or liver,
  • Swollen lymph nodes,
  • Losing weight without trying,
  • Tenderness or bone pain,
  • Excessive sweating, and
  • Petechiae (tiny red skin spots).

Some of these symptoms resemble those for conditions such as autoimmune disorders, influenza, other bleeding disorders, and immune thrombocytopenic purpura.

When a doctor does everything possible and comes up with a misdiagnosis, their actions might not be negligent. But if a doctor’s misdiagnosis is the result of not following the accepted standard of care, a negligence claim might come into play. Negligence in this context could  include:

  • Failure to listen to the patient’s complaints,
  • Failure to order the proper examinations and lab tests,
  • Failure to follow up and investigate certain symptoms,
  • Mixing up and losing the patient’s file, and
  • Not interpreting lab tests or exam results correctly.

A misdiagnosis of leukemia is serious because the cancer could progress, so the person misses out on life-saving treatment. 

A leukemia misdiagnosis doesn’t just mean failing to catch the disease. Someone can be diagnosed with leukemia when they don’t have it. This scenario means someone undergoes unnecessary cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy.

This treatment can create new health conditions, not to mention the ordeal of chemotherapy itself.

Can You Sue for a Leukemia Misdiagnosis?

If you have evidence that the medical professional was negligent in your misdiagnosis, you can bring a medical malpractice claim for compensation. However, proving medical malpractice is complicated.

You need an experienced medical malpractice lawyer who will protect your rights and help preserve all evidence. Successfully collecting compensation from these negligent parties is complicated but not impossible. You need solid evidence that demonstrates the defendants breached their duty of care.

Leukemia Misdiagnosis? We Are Here to Help

At Poulos & Coates, LLP we specialize in medical malpractice cases. We are trial lawyers who aren’t afraid to file a lawsuit against all responsible parties, including medical professionals, hospitals, and medical centers.

We have a medical doctor and nurse on staff to help evaluate your case and locate expert witnesses to testify on your behalf. Don’t try to handle a medical malpractice claim without our assistance.

Contact Poulos & Coates today to schedule an initial consultation if you received a leukemia misdiagnosis.

Author Photo

Greig Coates, M.D., J.D.

Over the last thirty years, Dr. Coates has successfully represented plaintiffs in every conceivable type of medical malpractice lawsuit–from single-physician cases to complex litigation involving over a dozen doctors and several hospitals. Dr. Coates has taken several thousand physician depositions in his career involving every known physician specialty and sub-specialty, and almost as many depositions involving hospital personnel such as nurses, techs, and administrators. He has tried several dozen cases to successful verdicts.

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