Understanding the Most Commonly Misdiagnosed Medical Condition in Oregon: Portland Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Failure or delay to properly diagnose a medical condition can lead to life-threatening consequences and a delay in its treatment. This failure or delay can be due to the negligence by healthcare providers and could be classified as an act of medical negligence or medical malpractice. Victims of such medical malpractice or negligence can seek compensation from the healthcare providers by filing a lawsuit against them. But many times patients do not know that they were a victim of medical malpractice in the first place. This is why it is important for victims to know the commonly misdiagnosed medical conditions in Oregon and why they could be due to the negligence of a healthcare provider.
According to Reuters, more than 12 million Americans are misdiagnosed every year. This statistic estimates that around one in every 20 patients are a victim of misdiagnosis. What is even more concerning is that many of these misdiagnosis cases involve life threatening conditions such as cancer. A misdiagnosis of cancer could lead to a worse prognosis of the cancer or even death. If a delay occurs, the patient may have to undergo more intensive treatment to combat the cancer, potentially leading to permanent or long lasting side effects from the individual if the individual survives the disease.
Medical Conditions Which are Commonly Misdiagnosed or Go Undiagnosed
Apart from misdiagnosis of cancer, there are many diseases that are very commonly misdiagnosed. They include the following conditions, diseases, injuries, or conditions:
Heart Disease: Heart disease is one of the most common causes of death in America. Failure to either correctly diagnose a heart disease can lead to needless deaths each year and reduces the chances of the victim to timely control or fix the heart disease. While many people may think of emergency room physicians are to blame, misdiagnosis can start at a primary care physicians office when they fail to recognize that a patient needs proper evaluation (i.e in an emergency room or with a cardiologist). It is essential for a physician to look at the overall picture. While heartburn can be just heartburn, if it is coupled with elevated blood pressure and elevated cholesterol, symptoms many be indicative of something more serious. Failure to properly assess can literally be a difference of life or death.
Heart Attack: A heart attack is an absolute medical emergency that must be dealt with immediately. Failure to diagnose a heart attack in a timely manner can result in death or permanent heart damage. While many people display classic signs of a heart attack (i.e. chest, jaw, left arm back and neck pain as well as extreme fatigue, profuse sweating, abdominal pain shortness of breath, etc.), not everyone displays classic symptoms of a heart attack. Therefore, it is up to the physician to assess the patient entirely in order to provide the most accurate diagnosis. If a person comes in and is not the classic heart attack patient (i.e younger) or does not present in a typical manner (i.e complains of anxiety, difficulty sleeping, back pain, epigastric burning) a physician may be quick to diagnose the patient with something less ominous. This is why it is essential that proper assessment of the patient is performed to prevent serious cardiac damage or death. This is one of the most commonly misdiagnosed conditions in Oregon and it can be fatal.
Cancer: A misdiagnosis of cancer can potentially result in a poorer prognosis or even wrongful death. This is because a delay in diagnosis allows the cancer to progress or even potentially kill the patient. Victims or the families of such victims can file a case against healthcare providers for such misdiagnosis leading to medical negligence.
Bowel Perforation: A bowel perforation is considered to be a medical emergency. Delay in diagnosing or misdiagnosing a bowel perforation can lead to severe infection, sepsis, peritonitis, damage to organs, or even death. Additionally, failure to diagnose in a timely manner can have life changing consequences for the person including possible permanent colostomy. If identified early, patients can be treated with surgery and may likely have a positive outcome. A person with a perforated bowel may present with significant pain, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal distention. Time is of the essence when it comes to treating this medical emergency.
Infections: It is common for hospital patients to suffer from Hospital Acquired Infections or healthcare-associated infections (“HAIs”), especially for patients having a compromised immune system or for patients who are seriously ill or injured. Failure to effectively monitor and treat patients with HAIs can lead to serious complications, including sepsis. Healthcare acquired infections are very preventable if protocols are followed (i.e. proper hand hygiene, avoiding rooming patients together if one is known to have a communicable infection). Healthcare providers can be held liable if it is proven that proper protocols and procedures were not followed.
Lyme disease: This disease is the most common vector-borne illness in the United States. People with this condition may present with a classic “bulls eye” rash. When this occurs, a patient should be treated with prophylactic antibiotics. Failure to do so can result in a more systemic infection. If a person is unaware that they have been bitten by a tick, they may develop more generalized symptoms (i.e. joint pain, muscle pain, headaches, fatigue, fever). Patients presenting with these symptoms should be evaluated thoroughly. Blood tests for lyme disease are often able to detect a presence of the condition. However, if the person was just bitten by the tick, the patient may test negative for lyme as the infection has not had enough time to develop a presence that is detectable by blood. Delay in diagnosis or misdiagnosis can result in a more severe, harder to treat systemic infection. Patients with prolonged lyme disease may develop neurological affects or other serious symptoms. Proper diagnosis and treatment are critical for this disease.
What to Do if the Commonly Misdiagnosed Medical Conditions in Oregon Harm You
Misdiagnosis of any condition is never a good thing for the patient. While there are instances in which misdiagnosis can occur in absence of medical malpractice, there are many instances in which medical malpractice plays a part in misdiagnosis. Misdiagnosis of a condition can be quite serious and can lead to long term effects, poor prognosis, or even wrongful death. This is why it is imperative that misdiagnosis’ are avoided at all costs.
If you or your loved one was misdiagnosed with one of the above conditions (or any other condition), our Oregon misdiagnosis medical malpractice lawyers are here to review your case for free to determine if your misdiagnosed condition was due to medical malpractice. If misdiagnosis was found to be caused by Oregon medical malpractice, you may be eligible for damages. Damages for these conditions may include:
- Physical pain and suffering from the agony of an injury
- Lost wages from missing time from work due to appointments, the injury, the accident itself, or disability
- Emotional pain and suffering, including anxiety, depression, or other fear
- Lost future earnings if unable to work in the same job or as often and you need to take a pay cut
- Past, present and future medical bills
- Rehabilitation coverage
- Loss of consortium
- Punitive damages in serious and egregious cases, and
- Other types of damages.
These are just a few of the many iterations that a victim may be able to acquire compensation for damages from the commonly misdiagnosed medical conditions in Oregon.
Ask our Portland Medical Malpractice Lawyers for Help
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice contact the Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form. We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.
Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles, St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.
We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take medical malpractice cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.