Phila. doctor sued for allegedly failing to diagnose rectal cancer in patient

Jon Campisi Apr. 25, 2012, 8:04am

A Philadelphia doctor has been named as a defendant in a medical malpractice case in which a former patient accuses him of not doing enough to diagnose her rectal cancer when she went to him with reports of blood in her stool.

Attorney David F. Binder filed the professional liability claim April 23 at Philadelphia’s Common Pleas Court on behalf of Philadelphia resident Yolanda Rogers.

The defendant named in the lawsuit is Nand Ram, a medical doctor with offices on the 1600 block of W. Girard Avenue.

According to the complaint, Rogers, who became a patient of Ram’s in June 2007, went to the defendant the following month with complaints of blood in her bowel movements.

The doctor told Rogers that hemorrhoids were the cause of her bleeding, the suit states.

Ram told Rogers the same during subsequent visits in November 2010 and January 2011.

It wasn’t until Rogers went to Albert Einstein Medical Center for an examination in March 2011 that she discovered she had rectal cancer, according to the complaint.

Rogers was diagnosed with the cancer after undergoing a colonoscopy, rectal ultrasound and other invasive tests, the suit states.

Rogers underwent surgery in July 2011 for the removal of a cancerous rectal tumor, and she subsequently had to have 14 blood transfusions following the operation due to her loss of blood the first time around.

The lawsuit blames Ram for allegedly failing to conduct the proper tests on Rogers that would have attempted to rule out cancer or other serious ailments as the cause of her bleeding.

“Plaintiff has had to undergo substantial additional and enhanced medical treatment as a result of the delayed diagnosis and treatment of her rectal cancer and its sequelae, including radiation treatments, chemotherapy, multiple hospitalizations and emergency room visits, multiple blood transfusions, implantation and maintenance of a permanent colostomy, etc.,” the lawsuit states.

The complaint alleges that Ram was “negligent and deviated from the standard of care in his treatment of his patient,” by failing to perform tests that would determine the cause of Rogers’ rectal bleeding; erroneously diagnosing Rogers’ rectal bleeding as being caused by hemorrhoids; failing to inform Rogers of the possibility that her rectal bleeding might be due to colon or rectal cancer; failing to refer Rogers to other physicians; and failing to perform a colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy or other tests that would have ruled out cancer as a cause of Rogers’ bleeding.

As a result of Ram’s alleged negligence, the lawsuit states, Rogers has had to undergo “complex major surgery” to remove her tumor, she suffered the loss of her entire rectum and part of her colon, she was forced to have a colostomy, which appears to be permanent, she has suffered pain from numerous medical procedures, and she has suffered economic loss and mental anguish.

Rogers seeks damages in excess of the jurisdictional limits, which is $50,000 in state court.


The case ID number is 120402557. 

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