Articles Posted in Failure to Diagnose Cardiac

Published on:

When we visit the doctor or hospital we expect that they will take the steps necessary to provide a proper diagnosis and treatment. This was not the case for a man who recently filed a lawsuit in Cook County. The lawsuit claims that the man’s serious condition was not diagnosed and as a result he later suffered cardiac arrest. The lawsuit names Loyola University Medical Center and the doctors who provided treatment there. The suit seeks damages of more than $50,000.

Failure to Diagnose
The failure to diagnose a serious medical condition or the incorrect diagnosis can have a significant impact on the health of a patient. When a doctor misdiagnoses the medical condition it will not be treated and the result could be dangerous. In this case, the lawsuit states that the doctors did not diagnose or even recognize Fournier gangrene in a timely manner. Further, they did not diagnose the man’s other symptoms which were consistent with congestive heart failure. The man later suffered a cardiac arrest and as a result, permanent injuries.
Continue reading

Published on:

Beyond aiding in the recovery for those affected by medical errors, malpractice lawsuits also play the critical role of ensuring hospital safety stays on the public radar. Without focused attention on the need to identify problems and improve, there is the risk of facilities getting caught in a rut–doing the same thing over and over, regardless of the errors that result.

The focus on malpractice does not exist only in newspapers. Medical researchers and academics are also drawn to the topic to study exactly what types of errors are most common and how they can be prevented.

For example, earlier this month international researchers published the results of a detailed study of a medical malpractice claims to understand what forms are most frequent. The findings were shared in full in the online version of the British Medical Journal (BMJ Open). The abstract and full text of the report can be found here.

Published on:

Patients assume that doctors know what they are doing at all times. There is a tendency to trust doctor decisions without question, simply doing as one is told and expecting the outcome that the doctor says is likely.

But, as the hundreds of thousands of patient who suffer at the hands of medical errors know–doctors are not perfect. In the heat of a workday they may misread a test, fail to wash their hands, prescribe the wrong dosage of a medication, or otherwise take steps that will cause patients more harm. Understanding the prevalence of preventable errors, many advocates encourage patients be proactive in their healthcare. There are things that patients can do on a consistent basis which may allow an error to be caught before it causes harm.

For example, well-known TV doctors Oz and Roizen recently shared information on way to help your doctor avoid a misdiagnosis. The tips provided in the story are worth reading, as misdiagnosis remains one of the most common forms of medical malpractice. The article reminds that “39 percent of U.S. malpractice payments are for nondiagnosis or an incorrect or delayed one.” Even more, “of all medical mistakes, diagnostic errors appear to be the most common, most costly, and most dangerous.”

Published on:

We recently discussed the report in the international medical journal, BMJ Quality & Safety which indicated how diagnostic errors were the most common type of medical mistake which led to legal liability. Failure to make a proper diagnosis in a timely manner or missing a diagnosis completely continues to cause untold suffering and even death throughout the country, including here in Illinois.

In fact, our team of Illinois medical malpractice lawyers recently filed a suit on behalf of a man following the death of his 39-year old wife. Her passing was caused by a failure to diagnose her heart condition.

The Case

Published on:

Medical malpractice occurs any time that a medical professional breaches a duty of care equal to that of other reasonable professionals in the area. When that breach causes real injury to a patient, then the injured party (or their family) can pursue accountability and redress via the civil law.

As most community member knows, there are seemingly an endless array of ways that harmful mistakes can be made by doctors. Everything from botching a surgery to accidentally providing too much medication. Estimates from many different organizations over the years have discovered that the overall scope of medical errors are staggering, with the most aggressive arguing that as many as one in three patients may fall victim to some lapse in case. Most of those are minor, however .

There are some types of malpractice, of course, that are not minor–resulting in very real harm or even death. It is those types of accidents that are mostly likely to spur medical malpractice lawsuits and accountability via a judgment or settlement.

Published on:

Most of the time, diagnosis errors–like a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis–refer to situations where a medical professional makes a mistake that causes a patient to delay receiving the treatment they need. This is especially common in cases like radiology errors, where doctors misread test slides, often giving a patient the impression that they are healthy when they are not. These mistakes can be the difference between life and death, and it is critical that hospitals and doctors be incentivized to do everything reasonable to avoid these mistakes.

However, misdiagnoses do not just affect seemingly-healthy patients. There are also many instances where a patient is obvious ill but doctors continue to attribute the problem to the wrong ailment. That issue was discussed recently in a General Surgery News story. The article examines the results of a new research project which looked at possible diagnosis mistakes affecting those who pass away while in the intensive care unit of the hospital. Essentially the research project should to get an idea of how many people in the ICU were misdiagnosed and how many, if any, of those diagnosis mistakes led to the patient’s death.

The results are shocking.

Published on:

When problems develop during childbirth most assume the same thing: I hope the child is OK. However, a new report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that we also need renewed focus on possible harm facing mothers during a birth.

Of course, in the past, childbirth has always been an incredibly dangerous time for mothers. In less developed parts of the world the material death rate remains shockingly high. While we recognize the risk elsewhere, in the United States there is a somewhat unacknowledged assumption that mothers will be fine during a delivery. The high risk of death during childbirth is a thing of the past–now the risk is very small.

Obviously vast improvements have been made over the decades on this front, but the problem has not gone away entirely. In fact, in some ways the risk of harm to the mother during childbirth has increased in recent years. It is vitally important that all of us understand this risk and that medical professionals act reasonable at all times to ensure mothers are not hurt in preventable ways as a result of inadequate response to maternal health complications during a birth.

Published on:

Diagnostic Imaging, a publication geared toward radiologists, published an interesting story discussing trends in the most common medical malpractice cases where radiologists are named as defendants. Of course, being a defense-oriented report, the story frames the details in certain ways, but the underlying statistics are useful to understand common examples of medical errors in the field.

The article summarizes a report published in the journal Radiology which found that failing to diagnose breast cancer was the single most common medical mistake among radiologists. The data in this research project found that about three to four patients out of every 1,000 fell victim to a misdiagnosis of breast cancer. In virtually all of those cases the signs of the cancer should have been caught by the medical professionals but were missed. The patients are usually diagnosed later, with the delay in treatment having varying effects on the long-term harm and ability to fully recover.

Beyond that, misdiagnosis in all forms was far and away the most common mistake which led to a malpractice lawsuit for radiologists. Besides breast cancer, failure to catch non-spinal fractures was the second-most common missed reading. That was followed by spinal fractures, lung cancer, and vascular disease. When all misdiagnosis mistakes are combined, anywhere from 14 to 15 patients per 1,000 are affected. This is not an insignificant number, meaning that thousands are harmed by this problem every year.

Published on:

In March of 2006, a man arrived at the Alton emergency room complaining of tightness in his throat, neck pain, blurred vision, and tightness in his chest. All of his symptoms pointed to an aortic aneurysm. However, doctors failed to properly examine the gentleman, and shortly thereafter he died from heart complications.

By definition, medical malpractice lawsuits arise when health care professionals are negligent in their care, and their acts and/or omissions not only violate accepted standards, but cause harm to the patient as well. Often hospitals, doctors, nurses, and other types of health care providers are covered by a form of professional liability insurance to offset the costs of lawsuits that occur as the result of malpractice.

But liability insurance serves another purpose: the costs of future medical care may be enormous if the injury is pervasive; but more than that, though money can never replace the life of a lost loved one, monetary penalties may serve as a message to health care professionals, motivating them to change their practices to avoid future litigation.

Published on:

Long Island Business News reported today on the judicial verdict in a malpractice case that was recently handed down. The lawsuit was filed against two doctors for their negligent post-op treatment which resulted in years of health problems for the unsuspecting medical victim.

Several years ago the patient underwent cardiac bypass surgery at St. Francis Hospital. Following the operation the victim suffered from what is known as a cardiac tamponade. It arises when there is bleeding into the chest following a heart procedure. Unfortunately, the two doctors charged with his care failed to diagnose the dangerous condition. That mistake allowed pressure to build in his chest without relief, leading to cardiac arrest.

The complications required a second cardiac surgery and a subsequent 2 ½ years of hospital stays and rehabilitation requirements. Many other troubles arose stemming from the initial mistake including nerve damage, brain injury, kidney failure, a trachostomy, bed sores, and sepsis.

The man filed a malpractice lawsuit against the negligent doctors for their treatment. After the trial the judge found in favor of the plaintiff, awarding him $7 million for his losses.
Continue reading