Delayed Diagnosis Lawyer in Chicago
When you suffer from a serious illness or disease that could have been prevented with a timely diagnosis, your life can be turned upside down.
When we go to the doctor, we usually have a particular reason for setting the appointment, keeping the appointment, and then sitting in the waiting room for an hour before seeing the doctor. When you have a specific pain or complaint, you expect the doctor to be able to figure out what it is, or at least schedule tests to make a final determination. When the doctor dismisses your concerns with a condescending diagnosis of stress or a virus and prescribes a bottle of pills to ease your pain, you reluctantly comply. However, when the pain and problems persist after another month of suffering, you may seek for a second opinion. The new diagnosis now shows a serious illness, progressed beyond the simple treatment an early diagnosis would have required. You may feel betrayed at this point.
What you can do
When your delayed diagnosis is the difference between life and death where survival will require multiple treatments, surgeries, or hospitalization, you need legal help to collect the information and details that will protect your rights and preserve your claim for compensation from the doctor’s insurance. The Chicago medical malpractice lawyers Willens & Baez have the experience and skill needed to negotiate the labyrinth of medical forms and reports you will need for your case.
Medical forms are mix of objective and subjective information. Gathering this information from your doctors usually requires legal channels. Interpreting the forms may require an expert witness, which we provide. Having a working knowledge of how the medical field operates allows us to find the mistakes that were made and make a case for your compensation. This process isn’t easy, but our experience means that the important details won’t be missed.
Mystery Symptoms Lead to Wrong Diagnosis, Surgical Error, Lawsuit
A woman hoping to receive surgery that would aid her in conceiving a child, ended up with a total hysterectomy and a $1.75 million lawsuit.
Syndi of Wibaux, Montana underwent surgery in 2011 at the Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska after consulting physicians at the Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction. The hope was that her chances of conception would increase. Days after the surgery, she began experiencing hot flashes and varying degrees of abdominal pain. After being told that these were common post-surgical symptoms, she returned home to Montana.
About a year later, the symptoms Syndi complained of had not subsided. Under doctor’s orders, she underwent an ultrasound of her pelvis, where the doctor discovered what appeared to be an ovarian cyst. After treatment for the cyst failed, she went to a doctor, who said that the mass that was originally thought to be a cyst may actually be ovarian cancer. Shortly after that, Syndi’s ovaries began to fail, and she was prescribed birth control pills to control symptoms that resembled menopause.
Nearly a year after that, approximately two years from her initial surgery, Syndi underwent a total hysterectomy. In the process of removing her reproductive organs, the surgeons found a rubber glove that contained about 10 ounces of clear fluid and had been tied off. Syndi and her husband, Darin, are suing the Pope Paul VI Institute, the Creighton University Medical Center, all of the surgeons and physicians individually, and associated healthcare organizations in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
A doctor has a duty to act in treating a patient as a reasonable, prudent person with similar education and experience would in similar circumstances. This standard is derived from what the standard medical practice is for the region of the country in which the doctor practices. The manner used to establish this practice makes sense. A doctor at the Mayo Clinic will have access to more state-of-the-art techniques and equipment than a rural doctor who still makes house calls. Holding the rural doctor to the same standard as the doctor at the Mayo Clinic would not be fair.
However, nowhere in the country would it be considered reasonable to leave a glove, a clamp, or any other foreign object unintentionally inside a patient. This is a surgical error. At best, it is negligent. At worst, it is willful and wanton conduct. Either way, a doctor who negligently leaves an object inside a patient’s body will at least have to go through the process of being sued.
The Lawsuit and the Damages Sought
If this case ever goes to court, the trial will likely consist of Syndi’s very real claims for damage to her body, her inability to conceive, her nearly two years of menopause-like symptoms, and her numerous ineffectual doctor’s visits. It will also likely consist of her husband’s claims. During the time Syndi was suffering, Darin lost the physical and emotional companionship (the legal term is “consortium”) of a healthy wife. The courts recognize this as an actionable injury, and it is one that the defendants in this case may have to pay.
Heart Attack Delayed Diagnosis or Misdiagnosis
An acute myocardial infarction (AMI), commonly known as a heart attack requires prompt diagnosis and treatment to reduce the chances of serious complications or death.
In the United States, around 1.5 million heart attacks occur annually, and about 11,000 of these are not properly diagnosed and result in unnecessary fatalities. In some cases, medical negligence may be responsible for delayed or misdiagnoses of a heart attack. In this post, Chicago medical malpractice lawyer will discuss heart attack delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis in detail.
Who is responsible for a heart attack delayed diagnosis or missed diagnosis?
When a patient comes to ER, a medical professional could make a negligent mistake and fail to diagnose a heart attack in a timely manner. Medical professionals who could make these errors include:
- Consulting physicians
- Emergency room physicians
- Consulting cardiologists
- Triage nurses
- Medical students and interns
Some studies have shown that some low volume emergency rooms have a higher rate of heart attack misdiagnosis compared to those that handle many patients. The reason cold be that smaller emergency rooms have less experience and fewer resources to make a correct diagnosis.
It is important to note that medical professionals in ER are not the only ones who can make errors. Heath care providers in other settings can also make diagnosis errors:
- General practitioners
- Physician assistants
- Family doctors
- Doctors in urgent care centers
- Lab technicians and other diagnostic professionals.
Who is more likely to be misdiagnosed?
Studies have shown that when it comes to heart attacks, females are more likely to be misdiagnosed compared to men. This is often due to the atypical nature of symptoms that female patients report. Some of these atypical symptoms are:
- Shortness of breath
- Trouble sleeping
- Back pain
- Pain that does not radiate
- Nausea and vomiting
- Heaviness of arms
- Feeling flushed
- Epigastric burning
These symptoms are different from the ones that men experience, which include pain the shoulder, chest, jaw, in between shoulder blades and neck, and headache.
Female patients are often misdiagnosed with emotional or psychiatric problems, musculoskeletal problems, indigestion or anxiety. So, they are prescribed painkillers or antianxiety drugs instead of life-saving treatments such as aspirin, thrombolytic agents, and others.
Elderly patients are also at a higher risk of delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis because they often present atypical symptoms and have other chronic conditions.
Consequences of heart attack misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis
Failure to make an accurate and timely diagnosis of a heart attack can have devastating consequences for the patient. Delayed or missed heart attack diagnoses are often associated with poor medical outcomes including death. Fatality risk doubles if a heart attack is not diagnosed accurately.
Those who survive a delayed diagnosis or an undiagnosed heart attack frequently develop more complications compared to those who receive a correct diagnosis.
Your Right to Compensation
When you suffer from the effects of serious illness or disease that could have been prevented with a timely diagnosis, your life can be turned upside down. Your medical costs may only be outpaced by your lack of income due to your inability to work. When we are able to prove negligence through delayed diagnosis, we can seek for compensation for your medical bills, lost income, lost opportunity, as well as your pain and suffering. You placed trust in your doctor and he or she let you down. You shouldn’t have to pay for that mistake. Call Willens & Baez today at (312) 957-4166 for a free consultation. We can help you get your life back.