When Philadelphia patients visit their doctors, they trust that they are in capable hands. They believe that the doctors have the experience and knowledge necessary to detect dangerous medical conditions or illnesses. Unfortunately, however, some doctors are not properly experienced or educated and others may make mistakes. When these mistakes happen and result in harm or death to patients, a Philadelphia failure to diagnose attorney may be able to help.
A recent study published in BMJ Open in July analyzed malpractice claims from the U.S. and Britain, among other countries. They focused on claims against primary care doctors, determining that failure to diagnose was the most common basis for medical malpractice claims, followed by medication errors. Among the most common missed diagnoses were cancer and heart attacks, as well as ectopic pregnancies, appendicitis and bone fractures.
Although mistakes are inevitable, in some cases it truly is a matter of life and death. A doctor’s failure to diagnosis a dangerous condition can result in death in some situations or can cause the situation to get dramatically worse before it is discovered. A failure to diagnose may include actions like misinterpreting test results, failure to perform necessary and appropriate diagnostic tests, and ignoring symptoms and risk factors, among others. This has the potential to increase the pain and suffering for the patient, as well as result in increased medical costs if prolonged or more aggressive treatment is needed due to the delay in diagnosis.
By filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against a doctor or hospital, victims or their loved ones may be able to recover damages for a range of things, including pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost wages. In addition, the lawsuit may bring to light dangerous conditions in a hospital or doctor’s office, or bring attention to a continually negligent doctor, which can result in improved safety and treatment for other patients.
Source: CBS News, “Most common medical malpractice claims for missed cancer, heart attacks,” Ryan Jaslow, July 19, 2013