Rockville Malpractice Attorney | Misdiagnosis or Late Diagnosis

Doctors have a duty to recognize the signs and symptoms of certain medical conditions, and to make a correct diagnosis in a timely manner. Effective treatment often depends on an early and accurate diagnosis. Failing to diagnose a serious medical condition in a timely manner is one of the most frequent types of medical malpractice that occurs nationwide. According to the National Patient Safety Foundation, one out of every six people have reported experiencing a diagnosis error, and close to 40% of all medical malpractice cases involve failure or incorrect diagnosis.

Rockville Malpractice AttorneysThe Difference Between Life and Death

Failing to properly diagnose a patient prevents them from obtaining the proper (and in some cases life-saving) treatment. Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis can occur during a routine visit to your doctor, in the emergency room, during pregnancy, or in any situation where a doctor fails to conduct certain tests or follow-up on specific symptoms.

If you have been misdiagnosed, or if a diagnosis was not made until your condition progressed to an advanced state, you have a right to hold your doctor and anyone else involved accountable for medical malpractice. Contact the Rockville malpractice attorneys of Stuart L. Plotnick today to schedule a free case evaluation. 301-605-9469.

Examples of Misdiagnosis / Late Diagnosis

Some of the most common medical conditions that are misdiagnosed or completely missed include:

  • Cancer – Detecting cancer early is essential in order to maximize a patient’s chances of survival. Failure to perform proper testing, or failure to perform testing at an early stage for patients who are at risk of cancer, can all render a doctor liable for medical malpractice.
  • Stroke or heart attack – Hospital emergency rooms can be crowded with patients and pushed for time. As a result, due to haste to move patients along, emergency room negligence can sometimes lead to symptoms of stroke or heart attack being overlooked. Patients are often sent home, only to have a disabling stroke or heart attack soon after.
  • Appendicitis – Failure to diagnose appendicitis is one of the top five causes of emergency room malpractice lawsuits. In fact, 15% of the compensation paid out to victims of emergency room negligence involves misdiagnosis of acute appendicitis. As many as 30% of all patients with acute appendicitis have been incorrectly diagnosed by a previous doctor. The initial misdiagnosis rate of appendicitis in children rages from 28-57% (children under 12) to almost 100% (infants).
  • Meningitis – Meningitis infections often start in innocuous places like the throat, ears, or sinuses, and spread through the blood stream to the spinal fluid, eventually inflaming the lining of the brain. This deadly condition must be treated immediately in its early stages in order to prevent death. Babies and children up to two years old have the highest incidence rate for meningitis. Doctors should vigilantly test for this condition when they notice early signs and symptoms of the infection.

How to Avoid Misdiagnosis or Late Diagnosis

If you are experiencing persistent symptoms, and your doctor’s diagnosis or treatment has not brought any relief, do not be shy about asking tough questions and do whatever you can to ensure you are properly tested.

Some tips for participating in the diagnosis process include:

  • Ask your doctor what else your condition could be. You should know all the possibilities associated with your symptoms so you can perform your own research.
  • Get a second opinion. Even if the diagnosis seems like a sure thing, it’s important to get a second opinion if treatment will involve invasive surgery or a long recovery period.
  • Trust your own intuition. If you think your doctor has not correctly diagnosed your condition, research and look for evidence to support your concerns, and discuss them openly with your doctor. Getting a second opinion or getting your tests redone will either confirm your suspicions, or confirm that your doctor’s diagnosis was correct.

Experienced Rockville Medical Malpractice Attorneys

Cases involving misdiagnosis or late diagnosis can be incredibly complex, since they usually depend on highly technical interpretations of different types of medical data – including MRIs, CT scans, X-rays, lab results, and more. In order to pursue a successful medical malpractice case, you need an attorney who has intimate knowledge of medical science, and access to expert medical witnesses in the field who can testify in your case.

At the Law Offices of Stuart L. Plotnick, our attorneys have many years of experience handling successful medical malpractice claims for victims of misdiagnosis. You can trust us to thoroughly investigate your case and provide your claim with the strong foundation of evidence it needs to succeed. We know how win the healthcare industry, and we are dedicated to holding negligent doctors accountable for their actions.

If you have been seriously injured, or if your loved one has died because of a missed or wrong diagnosis, please contact the Law Offices of Stuart L. Plotnick today to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our experienced Rockville  medical malpractice attorneys.

We represent medical malpractice victims throughout Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C.