Misdiagnosis can be a fatal mistake
Many patients in Florida and across the country have benefited from remarkable advances in medical diagnosing technology. As a society, people are living longer and with a better quality of life. Despite the overall improvement of medical practices and procedures, mistakes in individual cases do occur. Some doctor errors can have severe consequences and even result in death.
Perhaps because surgery is such a complicated matter, it is commonly perceived that most medical malpractice occurs within its realm. However, results from medical research on the issue paint a different picture. Diagnosis is the leading cause of serious medical errors in the United States. Millions of Americans suffer a misdiagnosis each year, with one-third of those resulting in a serious medical condition. Despite this, medical malpractice cases remain difficult to prove.
Although a mistake by a medical professional is the threshold issue in a malpractice case, it must also be shown that the result would not have happened but for the mistake. For example, say a doctor examines a patient and indicates the flu as the cause of the reported symptoms; however, the patient in fact had cancer. The cancer is discovered three months later and treatment is begun, but the patient dies six months later. If it can be shown the patient would have died anyway, even if treatment were started immediately, there is no medical malpractice.
Misdiagnosis, other doctor error or hospital negligence can all form the basis of a medical malpractice case. An experienced personal injury lawyer could help a plaintiff evaluate the circumstances and help determine the proper course of action.