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Failure to Diagnose

Seek Help from Our Johnson City Medical Malpractice Lawyers

When a medical professional fails to diagnose a serious or life-threatening condition, it can lead to permanent disability or, in extreme cases, death. It is considered medical malpractice when negligent doctors fail to catch serious problems. In these cases you or your loved ones may be entitled to compensation to help pay for your pain and suffering or additional treatment to fix the problems.

The Haynes Firm has developed significant expertise in this area by handling a myriad of cases involving a doctor’s failure to diagnose. We’ve outlined some of the common cases below. If you or a family member has suffered due to a medical failure, contact us to schedule a free consultation based on your individual situation.


Heart Attack

Everyone knows that heart attacks can kill and severely disable. Heart attacks can come without warning. But many heart attacks present with warning signs. Careful medical providers must be able to recognize these warning signs to diagnose the condition or order additional medical tests that will enable them to diagnose the condition in time to intervene and avoid serious injury or death. Our medical malpractice attorneys have handled numerous cases involving the failure of medical professionals to diagnose an impending heart attack or heart attack in progress. There are relatively simple blood tests that can be used to determine this condition with a high level of certainty, whether or not chest pain is a result of an acute heart event.

If the heart is not receiving sufficient oxygenated blood, pain is often produced in the chest, arm, or jaw and may be accompanied by shortness of breath, fatigue, unusual sweating, and nausea. A standard EKG may tell a doctor whether the pain is a heart attack. However, many heart attacks are not easily detected using EKG, so a physician must carefully listen to the patient and order additional testing if he or she cannot rule out heart attack or a condition that could imminently lead to a heart attack.

When a person visits a doctor or emergency room complaining of chest pain, medical providers should first attempt to rule out the conditions that can kill or disable a person, like heart attack. If medical professionals fail to rule out life threatening conditions first, catastrophic consequences can occur.

Stroke

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Stroke survivors often must live their lives with severe disabilities. It is therefore necessary that medical care providers maintain a high index of suspicion.

Stroke symptoms can include:

  • Sudden asymmetrical face when asking the person to smile
  • Sudden weakness or numbness in an arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden onset of slurred or difficult speech

Providers must be keenly aware of these symptoms because the window of opportunity for treating ischemic stroke with the “clot busting” drug, called tPA, is limited to the first three hours after the onset of symptoms.

Medical providers must perform the necessary tests and consult with appropriate specialists capable of performing a neurological examination before they assign a non life-threatening diagnosis to symptoms that are consistent with stroke in progress. Failure to rule out stroke can result in death or a lifetime of disability.

Cancer

Medical advances allow for successful treatment of many types of cancer, including:

  • Colon cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Skin cancer

Medical professionals must be careful to recognize signs and symptoms that can suggest cancer. Radiologists must carefully review films and bring any potential cancer findings to the attention of the ordering provider so that follow up studies can be performed. Above all, medical providers must communicate with one another as a patient receives care and undergoes testing from different people within the healthcare system. If providers fail to effectively communicate with one another, a patient can easily fall through the cracks. If that happens, and cancer or other life threatening condition goes untreated, catastrophic consequences can and do occur.

Like other types of misdiagnosis cases, the timeline relating to symptoms and diagnosis plays a critical part in determining whether you have a viable cancer misdiagnosis case. Our attorneys have developed relationships with well-credentialed physicians who can evaluate whether, and to what extent, earlier diagnosis would have made a difference in the outcome of a patient.

If you or a loved one has experienced the failure to promptly diagnose a major medical malady, call The Haynes Firm at 423-451-4999 as soon as you can.

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