Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Pennsylvania woman's pap smear tests misinterpreted

A female patient from the Pittsburgh area claims that a pathologist at Washington Hospital misread pap smears tests for this woman for five straight years. It was not until 2011 that she was diagnosed with cervical cancer, and this diagnosis came two months after she delivered a child.

The woman is now cancer free as she apparently responded well to the cancer treatment. It nevertheless remains a great concern among doctors that the pap smear test' results were consistently misinterpreted, and that her cancer was not treated sooner. Many other women were given the same test at this hospital, and many are asking the question if those individuals were misdiagnosed as well.

The hospital is now revisiting the manner in which these tests are conducted in hopes of finding out what happened. Though the hospital and pathologist claimed that reviews did not indicate any problems in the way the tests were administered, it does appear that there at least was a problem concerning this woman's individual results.

Hopefully, evidence discovered due to the medical malpractice case this woman has filed will demonstrate why the cancer went undiscovered. Attorneys may be able to show there were faulty procedures implemented, the pathologist in question was negligent in some way in reading the tests, or that medical staff was inadequately trained to recognize that a problem existed.

Such a case is important because we cannot allow for a cancer diagnosis to be missed in this manner. The benefit of medical malpractice cases is that sometimes findings will shed light on what went wrong and can prevent the same mistake from being made in the future.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Washington Hospital reviewing hundreds of Pap tests after lawsuit," by Sean D. Hamill, Nov. 16, 2012

  • Visit our medical malpractice website if you have questions regarding errors by doctors.

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