Laverne Wilkinson Didn't Have to Die

Laverne Wilkinson isn't dead yet, but she has been given six months to live. Laverne has lung cancer and she went to the emergency room two years ago with chest pains. The radiologist saw the mass on Laverne's lung but no one ever told her until it was too late to save her. (NY Daily New article) She even went to her clinic complaining of a chronic cough during the past two years. We put far too much faith in doctors. They are not infallible. A tragedy like Laverne's should have never happened, particularly in this country, but it did. It just isn't right that a 41 year old non-smoker is dying of lung cancer because someone didn't talk to her and tell her something wasn't quite right. Question your doctors. Ask if there are any other tests that can be done. Ask if medical test results have been forwarded. Don't take anything for granted, particularly if you go to the emergency room. (Personally, in an emergency room I was told I sprained my arm when I had actually broken it) You get one body and it matters more to you that it stays alive than a doctor who sees dozens of bodies a day.
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I will say that I think medical practice has improved in terms of QA. When I go for XRays they typically don’t let me leave until the results have been read by one person and checked by another. Of course I live in a state that has the luxury of over-the-top medical care. Still, the last few times I’ve been in for something the checklists go one and there are double and triple checks on everything before even a first step is taken. Still point taken, there’s no replacement for common sense. I read an article about a woman diagnosed with fatal breast cancer. They sent her home saying there was nothing they could do. A family member called in a local health-care practitioner who realized it was a cyst, not cancer and drained it before it became blood poisoning. It’s your health, never trust anyone completely, but on the other hand don’t wait too long if they do tell you that something serious needs to be done.
01/06/13 @ 13:40