The Effects of the Pandemic on Non-COVID Patients
There is no question that the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 has put a strain on medical resources and facilities across the United States. With potentially highly contagious patients showing symptoms of the Coronavirus heading into emergency departments and filling hospital beds, many medical facilities want to minimize the exposure to non-COVID patients. However, does this mean that patients with other health concerns are experiencing harmful neglect by medical professionals?
Just because COVID-19 has largely taken center stage in 2020 does not mean that other medical conditions have taken a break. Many people need treatment for conditions not related to the Coronavirus, and some people are not receiving the help and care they need. If you have concerns about a lack of treatment in recent months that caused your condition to worsen, you should speak with an Ohio medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.
Negative Impacts on Patients
There are many ways that people without COVID-19 symptoms are struggling to get the medical attention and treatment they need, including the following:
Failure to diagnose
In some cases, people are not getting the diagnostic testing they need to properly diagnose a serious medical condition. For example, many hospital emergency rooms were largely closed to patients without severe COVID-19 symptoms. Therefore, emergency medical technicians (EMTs) might respond to 911 calls, conduct some tests, and refuse to transport a patient to the emergency department. They might advise a patient to call their primary care physician for assistance when, in reality, the patient was experiencing a major health emergency and needed immediate diagnosis and treatment. In cases involving cardiac or neurological issues or other serious events, this advice by EMTs might be life-threatening.
Additionally, many physician and specialist offices have been conducting most appointments via telehealth. While telehealth can be effective in many cases, doctors can also miss important signs and symptoms they would have noticed during an in-person examination.
Delay of treatment
Due to the risks of COVID-19 exposure, many surgical procedures were postponed and treatment plans delayed or altered to reduce the number of non-COVID patients in the medical facility. Many cancer patients, for example, had their surgical and treatment plans changed. Many chemotherapy plans have been altered to limit patient visits to medical centers. However, this can be detrimental to the survival chances of patients. In addition, some surgeries that might be critical have been deemed elective and, therefore, canceled. This has had adverse, if not fatal, effects for many patients.
Contact our Ohio Medical Malpractice Attorneys Right Away
The Eisen Law Firm knows that it has been difficult for the medical community to balance COVID-19 resources and concerns with the diagnosis and treatment of non-COVID patients. Some medical treatments have been delayed or canceled appropriately. However, the pandemic is not an excuse for outright negligent care. No patient should have to suffer unnecessary harm due to medical neglect of their condition, even during a pandemic. It is important to stand up for your rights as a patient, so please call 216-687-0900 or contact us online as soon as possible so we can evaluate your rights for free. We can help determine whether your injury was an unavoidable consequence of the conditions caused by the pandemic or was instead due to medical negligence.