This week an Illinois medical malpractice lawyer at our firm came across a story in the Madison St. Clair Record about a new Illinois medical malpractice lawsuit. According to the story, a father filed the suit on behalf of his son who suffered paralysis due to what the father believes was a medical error. More specifically, the father is alleging that the defendant doctor failed to diagnose his son with the medical condition which led to the paralysis. The delay in diagnosis apparently led to the permanent physical disability.
The son visited the doctor last year to seek treatment for an unknown medical condition. Sadly, the doctor apparently did now know what the problem was either, and his serious medical condition went undiagnosed. It was only later that it was determined that the child had cauda equine syndrome. The ailment is a medical condition that exists when the nerves in the spinal cord are unduly crushed into the bone. It is a very serious problem that requires immediate action. However, because of the failure to diagnose, the child did not receive the treatment he needed. As a result, the child is now permanently paralyzed and incontinent
Each Chicago medical malpractice lawyer at Levin & Perconti is intimately familiar with the various forms of missed diagnosis and failure to diagnose. As we have consistently noted on this blog, especially recently, diagnosis problems are some of the most common-and ultimately harmful-medical errors that can affect patients. These mistakes represent problems of the most basic variety, because figuring out what is wrong with a patient is the first step in any doctor-patient relationship. If a medical professional gets the diagnosis wrong, then everything that comes afterwards is often for naught. In addition, correcting this error usually takes time. Other doctors are often influenced by the assessment of previous medical professionals and so the problem is rarely corrected until further complications develop and it becomes blindly clear that a former diagnosis was incorrect.
Our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers also know that it is frequently difficult for patients to determine conclusively if they have been hurt by a missed or delayed diagnosis. Some medical errors are obvious, like surgery being performed on the wrong body part or a lethal dose of medication erroneously been administered. Yet, these problems are different, because patients are naturally inclined to trust the decision and assessments made by their medical professionals in diagnosis matters. Failure to diagnose cases are all about timing-time lost to receive treatment before it gets worse. Patients do not have the expertise to know if certain delays actually lead to decreased chance of survival. Similarly, patients do not know for sure if the previous incorrect diagnoses were reasonable to make or if medical carelessness contributed to the problem. That is why if you find yourself in this situation it is always prudent to at least talk with a legal professional to share your story and learn how the law applies. There is no harm is learning more, but there is harm in keeping your consternation silent and allowing things to progress without redress or accountability.
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