The Papanicolaou test, or Pap Smear test, is one of the most extensively used laboratory tests to detect cervical cancer. The Pap test is relatively painless, low-cost, and has a high degree of accuracy of detecting atypical, abnormal, and dysplastic endocervical cells which are the precursors to many invasive cancers including cervical cancer.
Doctors in West Palm Beach must act as reasonably prudent health care providers by properly performing a pap smear test, following up on abnormal pap smear test results, engaging in more tests when they believe that a woman’s symptoms are indicative of cervical cancer.
If you or a loved one developed cervical cancer due to a pap smear error, contact a West Palm Beach pap smear misdiagnosis lawyer today. With the guidance and support of a qualified cervical cancer misdiagnosis lawyer at your side, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries and losses.
When is a Pap Smear Misdiagnosis Considered Negligence?
Since doctors began using the Pap smear in 1974, the death rate from cervical cancer dramatically decreased by 70 percent. However, despite this dramatic drop in cervical cancer cases, false-negative reports still occur in 16 to 40 percent of all Pap tests. A false-negative report is a pap smear that fails to identify and detect abnormal cells.
However, a false negative is not itself negligence. Under Fla. Stat. section 766.102 what constitutes medical malpractice is departing from the accepted standard of medical care. Instances where a pap smear misdiagnosis may constitute medical malpractice include when a doctor, gynecologist, or another healthcare provider:
- Fails to order a Pap smear test
- Fails to properly conduct a Pap smear test
- Fails to properly stain a Pap smear test
- Fails to properly interpret a Pap smear result
Another potential area of misdiagnosis is failing to screen for HPV, which is associated with up to 99 percent of all cervical cancer cases according to the National Cancer Institute.
Liable Parties for Misdiagnosis
Not only are doctors potentially liable for a pap smear misdiagnosis, but there are other parties that are potentially liable, and it is important to understand their role and potential impact on a pap smear misdiagnosis case.
Pap smear tests go to a lab where a technician trained to detect abnormalities in a sample reads them. However, a technician may fail to properly identify abnormal cervical cells resulting in an inaccurate diagnosis.
Pathologists often work in laboratories responsible for reading pap smear tests, and a pathologist should be supervising and reviewing technician’s findings.
Under Fla. Stat. Sec 766.110, all health care facilities have an obligation to ensure that their staff is properly trained, and can be liable for injuries resulting from their failure to exercise due care. If a facility has failed to do so, the individual should consult a West Palm Beach pap smear misdiagnosis lawyer that could help the individual hold the facility liable.
Speaking With a West Palm Beach Pap Smear Misdiagnosis Attorney
If a doctor failed to properly diagnose your cancer, you may be able to recover compensation. If you or a loved one suffered from cervical cancer due to a pap smear misdiagnosis, contact a West Palm Beach pap smear misdiagnosis lawyer today.
An experienced lawyer understands the severity and impact a cervical cancer diagnosis can have on you and your family and can help you investigate whether your doctor or another healthcare provider should be liable for your injuries and losses. Call today for a free consultation.