A failure to diagnose or a delayed diagnosis is one of the most common forms of Illinois medical malpractice. This sort of mistake is often the difference between life and death, because timely treatment is crucial with so many medical ailments. In general each Chicago medical malpractice lawyer at our firm knows that these sorts of errors come in two varieties. Most often a patient will visit a doctor complaining of a certain problem, the doctor will then either fail to order the appropriate tests and/or make a quick decision about the ailment and then send the patient on their way. When the patient does not get better they return and it is only later that the true source of the ailment is uncovered. In other cases, a doctor may correctly diagnose a patient with some condition. However, in taking the tests before that diagnosis an even bigger problem should have been evident to the medical professional but was missed.
According to an article in the Charleston Daily Mail, a failure to diagnose was at the heart of a new medical malpractice trial that is set to get underway this week. The suit was filed against a hospital and several physicians after the death of a 67-year old man. The victim suffered from multiple sclerosis and went to the hospital after suffering a urinary tract infection. While in the hospital the family became increasingly concerned because they noticed that his condition was deteriorating. The family repeatedly asked for doctors to examine him to figure out what was going wrong. However, the examination never took place. It was only when the man’ condition became gravely worse that a nurse phoned a doctor. The man was moved to the intensive care unit, and he died two hours after that call while he was being prepped for emergency surgery. It was only later that it was confirmed that that man had a bowel perforation that went undetected by medical professionals until it was too late.
The medical malpractice attorney who is representing the family explained that throughout the day at the hospital the man began to have an increasingly distended abdomen. The distention eventually made it hard for the man to breathe. Communication problem seem to be at the heart of the mater as nurse failed to properly inform the doctor of the severity of the man’s condition because “they didn’t want to inconvenience” the doctor. Of course, it is always unacceptable for a change in condition to not be properly accounted for. It is particularly disturbing when a patient is already at a hospital, his condition is clearly getting worse, and proper steps are not taken in a timely fashion to actually pinpoint what the cause might be. As this case demonstrates, even a few hours delay is often the difference. These sorts of missteps cannot be tolerated.
Jurors have just been chosen in the case, and attorneys have already made their opening statements. The entire trial is set to last at least two weeks. Many other personal injury trials do not last that long. However, because of the dense material and need for expert testimony, medical malpractice trials are often quite lengthy.
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