Going to the doctor can be scary, but it can be downright terrifying when doctors cannot figure out what is wrong with a patient. Sometimes medical professionals admit they do not know what is wrong and they continue to run tests until they can make a diagnosis, or they refer the patient to another doctor. In other situations, however, doctors diagnose the patient’s condition based on their best knowledge, but without certainty. This might lead to disastrous consequences for patients.
In one case, for example, a little girl started vomiting blood and was rushed to the hospital. Doctor at first thought her condition was related to allergies, then an infection. Other doctors thought the condition was gastritis and another diagnosed her with migraines. Then a doctor diagnosed her with a tumor in her throat and recommended it be surgically removed. It was not until after all those diagnoses that the little girl found out what was really wrong with her: she had a massive aneurysm. The doctor was able to successfully remedy the girl’s condition and she is now back to normal. However, had a doctor attempted to remove the aneurysm, the little girl might have died.
It might be frightening for Oregon residents to learn that up to 20 percent of all medical conditions are misdiagnoses and that 28 percent of those mistakes are life-threatening or deadly. Ninety-six percent of doctors state that diagnostic errors are preventable, but too many doctors make mistakes. These mistakes can leave patients with severe pain and suffering and costly medical bills.
Perhaps the best way to hold negligent medical professionals accountable while at the same time recovering damages is to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. An attorney may be able to help a victim show that a doctor’s failure to diagnose a condition or delayed treatment caused a victim’s worsened condition and damages. Doing this sufficiently may lead to a recovery of compensation, which not only helps the victim afford the care he or she needs, but lets the medical profession know that diagnostic errors will not be tolerated. Hopefully this will keep other patients free from similar harm.
Source: WearecentralPA.com, “A Misdiagnosis Endangers a Little Girl’s Life,” May 6, 2014