Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis
When we are sick, injured, or suffering with unexplained symptoms, we take it for granted that our medical providers will be able to diagnose the symptoms and provide the treatment we need to recover. Unfortunately, in an alarming number of cases, this is not the case. At the law office of Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C., we know that medical misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis can result in serious and life threatening complications. Unfortunately, these cases often go unreported by patients unaware that an error occurred, or unsure of their legal rights in holding their doctors accountable.
The Facts About Diagnostic Errors
Studies conducted by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) indicate as many as 12 million people each year suffer from diagnostic errors on the part of healthcare providers, errors that end up being responsible for roughly ten percent of all patient deaths. Ways in which these mistakes can result in serious and potentially life threatening harm include:
- Medical misdiagnosis of serious conditions resulting in delays in treatment and worsening of patient health, such as with cancer and heart disease;
- Misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis of emergency situations that require an immediate medical response, such as with strokes or aneurysms;
- Diagnostic errors that result in treatments that contraindicate symptoms, such as prescribing asthma inhalers for patients suffering from pneumonia.
Holding Medical Providers Accountable
The IOM reports that medical misdiagnosis and diagnostic delays often go unnoticed by doctors and unreported by patients, who may not even be aware that an error has occurred. In addition to increased hospital oversight and physician training, patients are advised to become advocates for their own care, to check their medical records regularly, and to voice their questions and concerns. When errors and mistakes do occur, doctors and hospital staff can be held accountable for the damages that result. PA court statistics indicate that roughly 1,500 medical malpractice claims are filed each year throughout the state, but there are potentially thousands of other victims who never get the legal help they deserve.
We Can Help You
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a missed diagnosis or diagnostic error, contact the law office of Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C. today. Our experienced medical malpractice attorneys can advise you on how to hold negligent medical providers accountable so that you can get the compensation you need to recover.