Emergency room misdiagnosis usually occurs when attending physicians do not realize that a patient may have a certain medical problem. Instead, the doctor makes a wrong diagnosis, sending the patient off with an incorrect treatment plan. Sometimes, patients could suffer additional injuries or complications as a result of wrong or inadequate treatment. Some of these instances result in becoming unnecessarily catastrophic situations, such as the loss of a limb or a fatality.
Unfortunately, sometimes rushed emergency room doctors do not take enough time to get differential diagnoses right. They could fail to refer to or rule out particular problems like appendicitis after ignoring symptoms that match with a correct diagnosis. Another way that these emergency room misdiagnoses occur is when intake nurses, doctors and hospital triage units do not make note of all relevant symptoms. They could neglect to ensure that a complete and adequate patient history is taken.
A hospital emergency room may also not be aware of certain types of cognitive or mental problems existing that could signal an impending or ongoing stroke, assuming that a patient could be slow due to other reasons. For example, those suffering from automobile accidents may receive care that only addresses obvious injuries from an accident, as opposed to addressing the more serious yet subtle effects that could also occur. In these cases, a situation involving a traumatic brain injury could pose much more serious threats. Whether you’re filing a malpractice case in San Diego or you need a medical malpractice lawyer in Syracuse NY, you will be informed that when medical circumstances such as these are not addressed quickly enough, there is a good chance that irreversible harm could occur to the patient as a result. There are also times that a misdiagnosis in an emergency room result in the patient being sent home, when monitoring them more fully could have saved their lives.
Preventing Medical Malpractice
The most important way to prevent medical errors is for you or a loved one to become an active participant in the health care team. This means being aware of how every decision is made about your health care. Patients involved in their own care always tend to get better overall results. For example, ensure that every doctor is aware of all of the prescription and over the counter medications and dietary supplements you are taking. Keep a list of these items and their doses with you at all times – perhaps in your wallet. In this way, you can either easily produce them or they could be found and submitted to emergency room doctors. This information could be critical in determining how doctors will render your care. Also ensure that the doctor is informed of any allergies or adverse reactions you may have had to any form of medicine. Keep this information along with doses of medications and vitamin supplements.
It is always unfortunate to receive a misdiagnosis in any scenario. The results can cause more complications since the illness or injury will not get the proper attention in time. This can also create much more complicated medical issues to resolve. Sometimes, these medical errors can cause medical conditions that can never be reversed, including fatalities.
If you suspect that you or a loved one received a misdiagnosis, contact a personal injury lawyer specializing in medical malpractice as soon as possible. They will evaluate the case and offer guidance on how to proceed. In these cases, should it be found that malpractice occurred, patients can receive compensation for pain, suffering, medical bills and other expenses.
Being aggressively involved in her elderly parents’ care gives freelance writer, Nadine Swayne, the insight to contribute this article. Bottar Leone, PLLC is a medical malpractice lawyer in Syracuse NY that has, for almost 30 years, limited its practice to prosecuting complex personal injury cases for injured or disabled patients. They will be able to help you and your loved one receive the compensation deserved after an unfortunate medical misdiagnosis.
Photo Credit: MilitaryHealth (CC BY 2.0)
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