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When many people in Cleveland think about medical malpractice, they likely think of some big error that happens on a surgical table. While these kinds of medical errors are certainly dangerous and do comprise some of the serious and fatal malpractice injuries, sometimes medical negligence is something fairly small and unnoticeable. Unfortunately, just because the mistake may be small doesn’t mean that the rammifications are, as well. Take, for example, a physician’s inability to diagnose lung cancer.

Lung cancer can be extremely serious and there are many people in Ohio who are killed by it each year. For some, however, their prognosis is good: the cancer was caught quickly enough that there are medical treatments available that will rid them of the disease. For others, however, the diagnosis comes to late.

Unfortunately for one woman, her doctor’s inability to timely diagnose her with lung cancer cost her life. She had gone to the hospital in 2010 and had an X-ray taken of her chest. Had the physician and the radiologist been paying sufficient attention, however, they would have noticed a small mass on her lungs. They didn’t and she was never told about the mass.

Yet when she came back to the doctor two years later with difficulty breathing, another physician did some digging. The physician had to tell her that she not only had a fatal cancer, but also that if they had caught it two years prior after the X-ray, that she would have lived.

What turned out to be a relatively minor mistake ended up costing the woman her life.