Missed & Failed Diagnosis

DiagnosisMissed & Failed Diagnosis: Cancer, Heart Attack, & Stroke

Most of our health care providers are trustworthy and dependable, offering us expedient and reliable medical information concerning our health. When we’re diagnosed with a life altering or life threatening illness, our doctors usually know when and where to refer us for the best care and outcome. However, when a diagnosis is missed because of negligence, the outcome can be devastating including injury, pain and suffering, increased medical costs, job loss, and death.

Medical malpractice is the result of doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers causing injury, pain, and suffering as a result of negligence or substandard care. Our law firm knows the importance of holding the medical community accountable for any negligent or insufficient medical treatment.

According to Health Grades, Inc., failure to diagnose and treat health conditions such as cancer, heart attack and stroke are the most common type of medical malpractice cases.

Failed Cancer Diagnosis

Most cancers have a relatively high recovery rate when diagnosed early. A missed diagnosis can seriously alter or drastically diminish a person’s survival rate. Some examples of how cancer is missed are:

  • Failure to listen to and adequately interpret the signs and symptoms reported by a patient.
  • Failure to recommend and perform necessary tests and exams.
  • Failure to follow up on abnormal biopsies
  • Failure to respond in an expedient manner with effective and appropriate treatment.

Failed Heart Attack Diagnosis

Because heart attack victims are usually seen in the emergency room, they’re subject to the fast-paced and over-crowded conditions that go hand and hand with emergency care. Given the subtlety of a heart attack’s signs and symptoms, they’re often misdiagnosed as heartburn, panic attacks, muscle strain, bronchitis, or pneumonia. The warning signs include:

  • Discomfort in the middle of the chest, like someone has your chest in a vice. This can last more than a few minutes, or it can go away and come back.
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath, whether or not there’s pain or discomfort.
  • Cold sweats
  • Nausea
  • Lightheadedness

According to the American Heart Association, coronary heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States. When the warning signs are recognized, treatment can be initiated to possibly prevent or reverse the damage of a heart attack.

Given the statistics, doctors need to be aware of the potential for heart attacks so that they provide their patients the treatment they need when they need it.

Failed Stroke Diagnosis

According to the American Stroke Association, stroke is the number three cause of death and a leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the U.S.  Strokes are either preventable or the effects of a stroke can be minimized with timely diagnosis and treatment.  The warning signs of stroke include

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

If you or a loved one have suffered as the result of misdiagnosed cancer, heart attack, stroke or other disease or illness anywhere in the state of Montana, please contact medical malpractice lawyers today.