Misdiagnosis is failure to make the correct diagnosis. When a patient presents with certain signs and symptoms, the doctor would form a differential diagnosis. A differential diagnosis means the different types of conditions that might be causing the symptoms. Generally, when a differential diagnosis is formed, the doctor is supposed to rule out, through appropriate testing, the conditions that are considered most life-threatening.

The first question a Hudson Valley medical misdiagnosis lawyer may ask someone who believes that misdiagnosis has occurred is whether there is any long-term disability or harm that was caused by the deviation from the standard of care. If there is, then a compassionate medical malpractice attorney could evaluate the case to begin a case proving the lack of duty in regards to standard care.

Common Misdiagnosis Scenarios

The job of a doctor in treating a patient who has a sudden onset of severe chest pain is to determine through appropriate testing whether that is due to a heart attack or an aortic dissection. A heart attack would require a series of tests which include an electrocardiogram and cardiac enzymes being checked for troponin. Troponin is an enzyme that can appear in the blood when a patient is having a heart attack.

The doctor would do a series of EKGs and cardiac enzymes for troponins to check whether the patient is having a heart attack. With an aortic dissection, the doctor would do a CAT-scan of the chest and abdomen to determine whether there is a partial tear of the inner lining of the aorta. If there is, in almost all cases that patient would undergo emergency surgery to repair the partial tear.

Ordinarily, that would be the removal of the torn part of the aorta with a synthetic graft. If the patient has a sudden onset of severe chest pain and the doctor does not do the appropriate workup and testing to rule out a heart attack aortic dissection and sends the patient home for follow-up with their primary care physician, they can be liable if the patient dies from one of those conditions due to a misdiagnosis.

Preparing a Misdiagnosis Claim

When preparing a medical negligence claim, it is important to see if the victim has shown a form of long-term disability or harm. In some cases, disability could mean something as serious as a brain injury or death. In other cases, harm could be paralysis, loss of limb, or blindness. If the patient’s injuries do not meet those categories, there would be certain exceptions in which attorneys can take on the case. However, for those who meet this qualification for a claim, they can work with a Hudson Valley medical misdiagnosis lawyer about proving deviation from standard medical practices.

Seeking an Explanation From a Medical Professional

There can be a problem with medical malpractice cases due to the amount of communication that occurs between patients and doctors before the patient seeks legal representation. Many patients will go to their doctor and ask them for an explanation. Many times, doctors will not give an explanation.

In some cases, the doctors do not know what caused the patient’s bad outcome but, in many cases, they do and they are simply not willing to share it. The patients will go to an attorney simply because they are not getting answers. If the doctor had explained exactly what happened and shown a little bit more compassion towards the patient, it is much less likely that that person would seek legal counsel.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Filing a Misdiagnosis Claim

The biggest mistake that people make in these claims is seeking help from a generalist rather than an established Hudson Valley medical misdiagnosis lawyer with experience in medical negligence claims. Patients have to steer clear of a law firm that does general practice because medical malpractice is a niche practice. It is highly specialized and, ideally, the victim should seek out the help from an attorney whose practice is dedicated to medical negligence cases and has experience doing the type of case that they have.

Hudson Valley Medical Misdiagnosis Lawyer