Belsky Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC A Personal Injury & Workers’ Compensation Law Firm

Misdiagnosis may lead to death

Maryland residents likely know that when physicians do not provide appropriate care, the patient might suffer consequences. There are reasons this happens, including giving a patient the wrong medication, not providing the proper treatment or not telling the patient risks associated with medication or procedures. More than one-half of malpractice cases involve misdiagnosis, and the most common conditions are heart conditions and cancer. Up to 48 percent of such cases end in death.

A failure to diagnose a cardiac condition may have serious consequences. In addition, signs and symptoms of cardiac problems may be present before a myocardial infarction happens. If they are not recognized, a serious MI may result.

A diagnosis of cancer depends on the physician knowing the way cancer presents itself in the early stages. If identified, the physician may have the option of performing tests that validate the diagnosis in order for intervention to begin. If the symptoms go unrecognized, the cancer may spread from its original site. Some cancer therapies that are effective early on may be less successful when metastasis occurs. In addition, failing to provide treatment as soon as possible may result in more costly medical bills and increased time lost at work.

When a patient suspects that he or she was not given the proper care, it is imperative to take note of when the physician was made aware of the symptoms, when the mistreatment occurred, if any, and how expensive the followup medical care was. A patient who was not treated according to the standard of care demanded of health care professionals may find speaking with an attorney beneficial. The attorney might review the patient's record with an expert to determine if negligence occurred. If so, the attorney may file a medical malpractice lawsuit seeking appropriate damages.

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