St. Petersburg Misdiagnosis Lawyer
Although it is extremely difficult to determine how many people are actually injured as a result of a doctor’s failure to correctly diagnose them, the Institute of Medicine estimates that the number could be as high as 12 million, a figure that represents about five percent of patients who seek outpatient care every year. When a misdiagnosis is caught early on and a condition is minor, patients are often able to escape any negative side effects. Unfortunately, when mistakes are more severe and the medical condition more serious, a patient could suffer long-term health problems, or could even lose his or her life. To ensure that your own medical malpractice claim is filed correctly and on time and that you have the best possible chance of success, please contact an experienced St. Petersburg misdiagnosis lawyer who can explain your legal options.
Commonly Misdiagnosed Conditions
A number of medical conditions, diseases, and illnesses have the same symptoms, which can make it difficult for physicians to differentiate between conditions. Fortunately, in most cases, ordering additional testing can resolve any inconsistencies or questions about a diagnosis. Failing to order additional blood tests and scans, or simply overlooking or ignoring the results of those tests, on the other hand, can lead to a delayed or completely wrong diagnosis. While this can happen with a variety of illnesses, there are some types of medical conditions that tend to be misdiagnosed at an especially high rate, including:
- Certain types of cancers, such as lymphoma, melanoma, and breast cancer;
- Strokes, which occur when the blood flow to the brain is disrupted and manifest as facial numbness, difficulty speaking, and vision problems;
- Heart attacks, which are often misdiagnosed in women who don’t always experience the typical symptoms of shortness of breath and chest pain;
- Aortic dissection, or a tear in the aorta wall, which can be fatal and is often diagnosed as heartburn; and
- Pulmonary embolisms, which are the result of a blockage of the pulmonary artery in the lung and can cause chest pain and shortness of breath, leading many doctors to misdiagnose them as heart attacks or pneumonia.
Causes of Misdiagnosis
A general lack of care can usually be linked to misdiagnosing these types of illnesses. However, there are certain actions, aside from failing to order or conduct tests, or to interpret their results, that are notorious for resulting in misdiagnosis, including:
- A lack of clear communication between physicians;
- Failing to adhere to the proper screening guidelines;
- Failing to consider an alternative diagnosis after coming to an initial conclusion;
- Failing to spend enough time with a patient; and
- Failing to take an adequate patient history.
Florida residents who sustain injuries as a result of this type of negligence can and should recover compensation for their losses. However, in order to do so, plaintiffs must file a claim within two years of discovering the incorrect diagnosis.
Contact Our St. Petersburg Misdiagnosis Legal Team Today
Please contact Masterson, Hoag & Smith, P.A. at 727-325-2696 to speak with an experienced and compassionate St. Petersburg medical malpractice lawyer about your case. Initial evaluations are conducted free of charge.