Miami patients expect their doctors to be able to accurately diagnose their medical conditions. Unfortunately, many times doctors fail their patients in this respect. A missed diagnosis not only prevents treatment of the existing condition, but also can raise new illnesses related to improper treatment. failure to diagnose a condition, therefore, poses a serious risk to all patients.
A recent incident in New England shows how a missed diagnosis can lead to a worsened condition. There, a patient claimed that his doctor failed to adequately treat a lesion on his lower back even after he pointed it out to the doctor. The patient, who was receiving radiation treatment for bone marrow cancer, alleged that the doctor administering the treatment also failed to diagnose the lesion. According to the patient, the lesion led to blockages in the eyes’ arteries, which left the patient blind.
Situations like this arise more often than patients like to think and can lead to a worsened medical condition or death. In addition to physical recovery and emotional anguish, these victimized patients are forced to deal with the financial burdens associated with the missed diagnosis. Legal action can help victims obtain compensation so that life can move back to as close to normal as possible.
Every doctor owes his patient a duty of care. This duty includes having the required knowledge and skill of one competent in the position, exercising care in applying that knowledge and skill and using proper medical judgment. If this duty is breached and injuries result, as may have occurred in the New England case, a victim may succeed on a medical malpractice claim.
Awards obtained through a successful medical malpractice lawsuit can be used to pay for medical expenses, pain and suffering and lost wages. In addition, holding errant doctors financially responsible deters other medical professionals from acting negligently. And, as evidenced by the New England case, the legal system must do all it can to protect innocent patients.
Source: New England Cable News, “Amherst doctor sues his physicians over blindness,” Sept. 21, 2012