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Misdiagnosis common cause of medical malpractice lawsuits

When a person goes to the doctor in Atlanta, he or she expects to find answers to what ails him or her. Far too often, patients are misdiagnosed with the wrong illness. In many of these cases, there is little harm, if any, done. But for someone suffering from a major disease, a misdiagnosis can be fatal.

A recent study has found that misdiagnoses are one of the most common causes of medical malpractice lawsuits against primary care physicians. In these lawsuits, a majority of the patients died from the misdiagnoses.

The study included cases from the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia and France. Investigators found that doctors misdiagnosed the patients for a variety of reasons including either failing to run a diagnostic test or reading the results wrong, failing to implement a proper follow-up plan or even doing a physical exam on the patient.

A case of an infant who died from complications related to a disease that was misdiagnosed highlights this problem. The baby was taken to the emergency room by her family where she was diagnosed with an ear infection and sent home with antibiotics. Her condition worsened by morning, so her family took her to her pediatrician. It was eventually found that she suffered from meningitis, brain injury and hydrocephalus.

The baby’s family filed a medical malpractice lawsuit and was awarded $1.7 million for the doctor’s failure to diagnose the infection and run appropriate tests to detect it.

If you or a loved one has suffered because of a medical misdiagnosis, you may wish to seek the help of an attorney in order to receive the compensation to which you are entitled.

Source: The Legal Examiner, “Most Primary Care Malpractice Suits Filed Because of Misdiagnoses,” Eric T. Chaffin,” Aug. 26, 2013

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