$1.25 Million ER Misdiagnosis Settlement
A middle aged woman was misdiagnosed in an emergency room resulting in permanent impairment.
General Medical Malpractice Information
If medical negligence caused permanent damage to your body, or wrongful death to a loved one, I understand your pain. After more than 40 years of experience as a misdiagnosis lawyer, I’ve seen the devastating effects of malpractice. It’s what drives me to effect change, and drives me to help those who have suffered through no fault of their own. If you have a medical malpractice case, call me today, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®
Is Failure To Diagnose Medical Malpractice?
Yes, failure to diagnose a medical issue can be considered medical malpractice in certain circumstances. Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider, such as a doctor or nurse, fails to provide the standard of care expected of them. Failure to diagnose a medical issue, like ovarian cancer or cervical cancer, falls under the category of medical malpractice. The missed diagnosis can have serious consequences for the patient. However, it is important to note that not all cases of misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose constitute medical malpractice.
To prove that a failure to diagnose is medical malpractice, certain elements must be established. They include proving that a doctor-patient relationship existed, that the doctor failed to provide the appropriate standard of care, and that this failure caused harm to the patient. Establishing these elements can be complex and may require the testimony of medical experts who can provide their professional opinion. Their opinion should conclude whether the healthcare provider’s actions constituted a failure to provide adequate care.
I know, we have fantastic doctors and hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio. But, in Cleveland, failure to diagnose someone’s proper medical condition still occurs. Call me, and we can discuss what options are available to you.
Potential Problems That May Arise From Misdiagnosis
Delayed or inappropriate treatment
A misdiagnosis can delay or prevent a patient from receiving the correct medicine or surgical intervention for their condition. This can lead to worsening symptoms or the development of additional health problems. In some cases, the diagnosis may be correct, but the wrong medication may have be prescribed, leading to patient harm.
Unnecessary procedures or treatment
If the condition is incorrectly diagnosed, it may result in unnecessary procedures or treatment, such as surgery or medication. These may not effectively treat the patient’s condition, or may cause additional health problems. The increased healthcare costs and potential harm to the patient can be devastating.
Serious harm or death
In some cases, a misdiagnosis can have serious consequences, such as permanent disability, long-term health problems, or even death. For example, a misdiagnosis of an infection rather than diabetes can lead to uncontrolled blood sugar levels, which can increase the risk of infections, stroke and other complications.
Most Common Medical Misdiagnosis
Stroke is one of the most commonly misdiagnosed medical conditions, and can be mistaken for other conditions such as migraines or vertigo. Misdiagnosis can result in a range of complications. These include problems with breathing and heart function, body temperature control, balance and coordination, weakness or paralysis, chewing, swallowing, and speaking, vision problems, or even coma and death.
Sepsis, a potentially life-threatening blood infection, is also commonly misdiagnosed. Often times being mistaken for other less serious conditions such as the flu or pneumonia. Studies have shown that up to 20.8% of patients with sepsis may experience a missed or delayed diagnosis, and early detection is essential to improve outcomes.
Lung cancer is frequently misdiagnosed or diagnosed at a later stage, often due to a lack of symptoms or misleading symptoms such as persistent coughing. Early detection and treatment are crucial for improved outcomes.
Heart attack can be misdiagnosed as other conditions such as panic attacks or indigestion. When treatment is delayed, the heart muscle can stop pumping, and the muscle cells may become damaged or begin to die.
Other Cancer Misdiagnosis
A cancer misdiagnosis or delayed cancer detection may lead to improper treatment, which could have potentially worsened outcomes for patients. Types of cancer include:
- Lymphoma: Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system. Symptoms are often non-specific and can be mistaken for other illnesses.
- Breast cancer: Breast cancer can also be misdiagnosed due to a variety of factors. Specifically, misinterpretation of mammograms or other imaging tests, or failure to properly follow up on suspicious findings.
- Melanoma: Skin cancer, or melanoma can be difficult to diagnose because it can resemble other skin conditions, or even moles and freckles.
- Colorectal cancer: Symptoms are often non-specific, such as abdominal pain or changes in bowel habits, which can also be attributed to other conditions.
- Pancreatic cancer: Sometimes, the digestive issues associated with pancreatic cancer can be misinterpreted as pancreatitis or gallbladder disease.
Being knowledgeable of your family’s medical history can help doctors with their diagnosis. Be sure to let your doctor know if you have a family history of cancer.
How The Lab May Play a Factor In Misdiagnosis
Laboratory malpractice refers to a mistake made in a clinical laboratory that leads to significant harm to a patient. This can include errors in testing or processing of samples, incorrect interpretation of results, or failure to properly communicate results to the treating physician.
Failure to properly communicate results
In some cases, a misdiagnosis can occur due to a failure to properly communicate laboratory results to the treating physician. This can lead to delayed or inappropriate treatment, worsening of the patient’s condition, and potentially serious harm to the patient.
Possible Consequences For Doctors After A Medical Malpractice Suit
Medical malpractice claims for misdiagnosis can have legal and financial consequences for the doctor. The doctor may be held liable for any damages caused to the patient as a result of the misdiagnosis. They may be required to pay compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
In addition to financial consequences, a doctor may also face professional and reputation consequences. Medical malpractice lawsuits can damage a doctor’s professional reputation and may result in disciplinary action by medical boards or other governing bodies.
Doctor’s Medical Malpractice Insurance
Doctors have medical malpractice insurance to protect themselves from potential financial losses if a patient sues them for medical malpractice. The insurance provides coverage for expenses associated with defending and settling malpractice suits. Included are attorney fees, court costs, arbitration costs, settlement costs, and damages if the doctor is found liable.
Malpractice insurance is intended to cover healthcare professionals, and patients can file lawsuits against healthcare professionals seeking damages for malpractice.
Doctors carry medical malpractice insurance, because unfortunately, they may need it one day. My long history as a misdiagnosis lawyer in Cleveland is why my clients trust me with their misdiagnosis malpractice cases. If you need help, call me day or night. We’ll discuss your case, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®