Some medical conditions may require lengthy diagnostic imaging or several different rounds and/or types of tests before the correct ailment can be determined. However, there is a standard of professional care to which doctors are accountable.
If a doctor’s actions fall below the applicable duty of care, a patient should consult with an attorney to inquire whether the doctor might be held liable for medical negligence. A patient deserves to seek compensation for a misdiagnosis, and the pain and suffering, injuries, lost wages and any other resulting consequences might affect the amount of damages sought.
In a recent example, a patient endured months of pain after an alleged misdiagnosis. He originally sought a doctor’s care after experiencing pain and redness in his right eye. The doctor suspected inflammation of the pterygium, which is a type of corneal growth. After a week of observation, the doctor recommended surgery to excise the pterygium. However, the man continued to experience pain in the eye after the surgery.
After several more weeks, the doctor advised the man to travel to a nearby emergency department. There, the man finally received a correct diagnosis: a corneal melt. He was treated with a corneal patch graft.
When a patient is in pain and seeking a doctor’s diagnosis to understand the cause, time can be of the essence for several reasons. For starters, a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis can cause additional pain and suffering. In serious cases, like cancer, early detection can improve a patient’s chances of a favorable response to chemotherapy or other treatments.
Treating a patient for the wrong condition can also cause injury. Nothing is so tragic as a serious illness or disease that could have been prevented. Our firm focuses on medical malpractice litigation and understands the complexities that are involved in proving a doctor’s negligence. Check out our firm’s website to learn more.
Source: West Virginia Record, “Man sues eye doctor, Marshall for negligence,” Kyla Asbury, March 23, 2015