On average, American women start receiving PAP smears at the age of 21,
to screen for warnings of cervical cancer. PAP smears are usually administered
at least every three years, with 5% of all American women receiving the
test during their physical. Many take precautions and get tested every
year just to be safe. But what happens when annual PAP smear tests get
misread and test results are
misdiagnosed, leaving a growing cancer to go unnoticed?
That is exactly what happened to a Cervical Cancer survivor who won one
of the largest
medical malpractice cases in Maine. The plaintiff and her husband were awarded nearly $10
million dollars in damages when doctors at Central Maine Medical Center
neglected to properly diagnose the victim with cervical cancer. Routinely
receiving PAP smears, the patient had tests that came up negative for
cancer in 2009, 2010, and 2011. But with increasing pain, she went in
again to get tests done. The physician then found that she had stage III
cervical cancer. The cancer had spread. What should have been stage I
cancer, if caught earlier, now caused the survivor to use a colostomy
bag, have low blood flow to her small bowel, and caused her to suffer
chronic fatigue and pain.
Because of CMMC oversight and negligence for the patient’s circumstances,
the jury awarded the plaintiff $7.65 million dollars. Her husband was
awarded $2 million dollars for loss of consortium. Because the plaintiff
suffered major physical and emotional trauma, the jury spent only 75 minutes
deliberating the case before awarding the sum. The verdict was one of
the largest malpractice suits won in the state.
In Oregon, PAP smears are also an important test to have administered.
However, it is more important to have physicians read the tests properly.
The attorneys at Paulson Coletti understand that pain that comes from
medical mistakes that can ruin lives. We work hard to combat this kind
of neglect, so that medical malpractice victims can get the justice they deserve.