Medical malpractice is a specific category of personal injury. These cases should only be handled by an experienced personal injury attorney. The number of medical malpractice claims brought in Orlando and across the country every year should not be surprising; with thousands of patients being seen and treated by doctors every day, medical mistakes are unfortunately going to occur.
A large percentage of this type of personal injury cases occur when a medical professional misdiagnoses a patient’s health condition, either by diagnosing him or her with something else or failing to address the actual medical issue altogether.
Misdiagnoses Top the Number of Malpractice Filings
Granted it can be difficult to pinpoint many diseases (there are plenty of symptoms that derive from entirely unrelated health problems), it is your doctor’s responsibility to follow a reasonably thorough diagnostic procedure in order to make the appropriate determination. For example, if a woman is complaining of breast pain, one of the first things the physician should do is schedule a mammogram.
By failing to administer this simple test, the physician is arguably breaching their duty to provide reasonable care. In a comprehensive study that analyzed data from more than 7,000 journals featuring medical malpractice articles, it was found that upwards of 63 percent of all claims were misdiagnoses. Most of these were brought against primary care physicians, which is understandable given this is nearly every patient’s first point of contact when seeking medical attention.
The Importance of a Proper Diagnosis
Perhaps more disturbing is another figure the study found; of the consequences resulting from these misdiagnoses, patient death was the most common. By some accounts, almost half of these deaths could have been prevented had the physician taken the correct measures. Of the health conditions that were missed by these doctors, cancer ranked highest for both adults and children.
The severity of a misdiagnosis cannot be overstated. Many negative side effects occur when patients are treated for incorrect health conditions. They are prescribed medications they do not need and thus are deprived of the benefit of the medication. The chances of surviving cancer and other life-threatening illnesses diminishes rapidly the longer these diseases progress, so time truly is of the essence.
If you believe you have been misdiagnosed or know someone who has, contact me for help. Remember, not just any medical malpractice lawyer can ensure you receive compensation for the physician’s negligence.