The rate of medical errors throughout the United States is something of grave concern to all. The right to obtain and trust in the accuracy of medical care is something that all Pennsylvania citizens should enjoy. The causes of medical malpractice claims include many things including the failure to diagnose, a surgical error, a birth complication and related error or something else. Such actions or lack thereof can leave lifelong consequences for patients and their family members.
It’s not often that you hear of a medical malpractice lawsuit being filed against medical professionals on behalf of another doctor. That is exactly what the family of young Pennsylvania woman who died last year is doing, however. They claim failure to diagnose a simple medical condition caused the woman’s death.
In a past post, we discussed how better patient-doctor communication in Pittsburgh can help prevent misdiagnosed cancer and other serious ailments. For instance, patients are encouraged to ask physicians why they arrived at a particular diagnosis and also if there is a possibility that the problem could be something else. Doctors are also being trained to better assess situations and complete more thorough exams.
No one deserves to get cancer; but everyone deserves a chance to fight the deadly disease when it invades their body. Unfortunately, not everyone gets that opportunity. While the exact survival statistics vary greatly based on what type of cancer a person has, one thing is constant: the sooner cancer is diagnosed, the better the chances of survival. A doctor’s delayed diagnosis or failure to diagnose cancer is essentially a death sentence.
It seems like a safe assumption that if a doctor has passed the MCAT, completed both medical school and residencies and met the other licensing requirements that he or she is qualified to care for patients. Sadly, that is not always the case and patients may receive substandard care in Pittsburgh, PA or any other state in the U.S.
There are a number of prescription drugs and medical treatments that can ease one’s pain and suffering even when faced with a terminal disease. A doctor’s failure to diagnose cancer, however, can deprive a person of comfort and quality of life.
Every day, physicians in Pennsylvania and every other state are trusted by patients to decide what tests are necessarily to make an accurate cancer diagnosis. They have to weigh the time and expense of medical tests with the probability of accurately diagnosing their patients without those tests. If they make the wrong decision, failure to diagnose cancer can have devastating effects for everyone involved.
When a person in Pennsylvania is diagnosed with cancer or any other serious illness, time is often of the essence. In order to ensure that the patient lives a long and rewarding life, doctors may need to implement treatments immediately to stop the spread of harmful cancers or other diseases. Failure to diagnose a cancer or heart disease may lead to death in the average individual if the doctor does not stay current on new technology for diagnosis. Even those who trust their physicians implicitly may benefit from getting a second opinion for any serious illness before treatment is started.
When a person seeks the help of a physician, they expect the best care, and doctors have taken an oath to provide the appropriate treatment for each individual situation. This is especially important in cases where time is of the essence, and receiving the proper treatment in a timely manner can mean the difference between life and death for a patient. If the patient suffers from a misdiagnosed cancer and the problem is not discovered quickly, the disfigured cells are then allowed to grow and spread throughout the body until it may be impossible to save the person.
Deadly diseases can sometimes present themselves in seemingly innocuous ways. It is up to doctors in Pennsylvania to determine whether symptoms are evidence of a common complaint or something more serious. When they fail to properly make that distinction, they may face a lawsuit.