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Misread test leads to man's cardiac arrest

Medical schools provide their students with years of intensive, hands-on training in the hopes of developing doctors who are capable of providing accurate, efficient and safe care. One of the most integral parts of this care is the diagnosis. A proper diagnosis can lead to quick treatment and a speedy recovery. On the other hand, a doctor's failure to diagnose a condition can have dire consequences. A Florida family is feeling the effects of a missed diagnosis.

Last year, a man was taken to the emergency room when he was experiencing chest pain. Doctors conducted a coronary CTA on the man, which, like an X-ray, allows them to see any blocked arteries that could cause a heart attack. Concluding that the CTA was normal, doctors released the man with nothing more than aspirin and ibuprofen even though his levels of troponin, a protein that signifies heart trauma, were high. Less than three days later the man went into cardiac arrest and died.

The doctors in this instance misread the CTA test, and as a result, mistreated their patient. Had the test been properly read, an accurate diagnosis could have been made and the man's life possibly saved.

When a doctor misses a diagnosis and injury or death results, a family can be left emotionally and financially ruined. Fortunately, a medical malpractice suit can help ease the burden by giving victims and their families a route to recover much needed and deserved compensation.

A medical malpractice lawsuit allows individuals to recover compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and, in the worst cases, funeral costs. This compensation ensures that victims and their families can focus on physical and emotional recoveries without the stress of undeserved financial hardship.

Diagnosing a patient can be difficult. Yet, all too often doctors miss conditions that should be easily diagnosed and treated. These failures in competency should not place victims and their families in financial hardship. A lawsuit will alleviate this concern and punish errant doctors so that future medical professionals will recognize the importance of an accurate diagnosis.

Source: Sun-Sentinel, "Delray Medical Center sued for wrongful death of husband, father," Karla Bowsher, Aug. 13, 2012

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