Cleveland Medical Malpractice Attorneys Take Firm Legal Action When Diagnosis and Treatment Errors Happen to Innocent Victims
Misdiagnosis leads to mistreatment
Diagnosis and treatment errors make up a high percentage of all medical negligence. Put simply, diagnosis is the process by which a doctor figures out what is causing a patient’s signs and symptoms. Once a patient has been correctly diagnosed, treatment can be directed to cure the condition or to reduce the patient’s symptoms. Treatment can range from the old “take two aspirin and call me in the morning” to very complicated and sophisticated surgical procedures. The personal injury attorneys at The Eisen Law Firm fight for patients that did not receive the attention to detail they deserved. We recover full and fair compensation for victims of misdiagnosis and improper treatment.
How do doctors diagnose patients?
Doctors are all trained in something called “Differential Diagnosis.” This is a standardized approach doctors use to figure out what is wrong with a patient. Doctors typically begin by gathering data. They ask the patient what is wrong, and (hopefully) they listen to the patient describe the problem. Doctors then ask follow-up questions. As they listen, doctors make a mental list of all the potential conditions that could explain what the patient has been experiencing. The doctor then does a physical examination. The exam might be head to toe, or if the patient’s complaints are focused (for example, “my right ear hurts”), it might be more limited. As the doctor examines the patient, the doctor either adds or subtracts potential conditions (or “diagnoses”) to the mental list.
Doctors then try to narrow the list further, usually by ordering tests such as x-rays, CT scans, blood tests, etc. Each test should be ordered with an eye toward either keeping something on the list or crossing it off the list. The idea is to use these tests to further the process of systematically coming up with the “right” diagnosis. While using this process, it is important for doctors to try to rule out (cross of the list) or rule in (keep on the list) the most dangerous conditions first, especially if these conditions are near the top of the list as likely explanations. For example, a 60 year-old man with severe chest pain and a history of heart disease could have simple heartburn, but he also could be having a heart attack. The right thing to do is to run tests for a heart attack first and heartburn later.
Where do doctors make the mistakes in diagnoses that lead to medical malpractice in Ohio?
Unfortunately, doctors often make critical mistakes in the process of diagnosis. Sometimes, they fail to consider the correct possibility (they fail to put it on their mental list). Other times, they prioritize things incorrectly (like testing for heartburn before heart attack). In one case, a misdiagnosis of a Thoracic Dissection caused the death of a 42 year old husband/father and lead to a multi-million dollar settlement for the family.
They also may order the wrong tests or rely too heavily on tests that aren’t reliable. Less often, but still too often, doctors make the right diagnosis, but then order the wrong treatment. All of these mistakes can be examples of negligence, either negligent diagnosis or negligent treatment.
At The Eisen Law Firm, our entire practice is focused on medical negligence. That focus allows us to determine whether you or a loved one has been the victim of a diagnosis or treatment error. Contact us for a free discussion of what happened to you or your loved one. We will listen to your story.
Schedule a free initial consultation with our Ohio medical malpractice attorneys today if you suffered an injury due to misdiagnosis
Contact the Cleveland injury attorneys at The Eisen Law Firm today if you have been harmed due to misdiagnosis by your doctor or other healthcare professional. Doctors should be held accountable when they miss the clear signs of your real illness due to negligence, carelessness or recklessness. We offer free initial consultations to review your case and discuss your options and work with clients in Cleveland, Lorain, Columbus, Toledo, Akron and throughout Northeast Ohio. Call us today at 216-687-0900 or to schedule an appointment.