Friday, 27 of April of 2018

Tag » misdiagnosis

Virginia Hospital, Radiologists and Physicians Facing Wrongful Death Suit

By Jim Lewis, West Virginia Medical Malpractice Lawyer

An attorney with the Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton law firm recently wrote about a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the estate of a woman who allegedly died due to medical malpractice. To learn more, read “Wife’s Death Prompts Man’s Malpractice Suit Against Virginia Hospital, Doctors.”

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About the Editors: The VA-NC medical malpractice attorneys at Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton include medical and surgical malpractice lawyers licensed in both Virginia and Carolina. Our medical/hospital malpractice focus on personal injury and accident law and have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctors’ mistakes, as well as nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see our track record of success in medical malpractice lawsuits, and also be sure to read our free medical malpractice reports Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider and Top 5 Surgical Errors. Rick Shapiro and James Lewis have been listed among the Best Lawyers in America since 2008. They, along with fellow attorney John M. Cooper, have also been named Virginia Super Lawyers since 2010, an honor fewer than 5 percent of outstanding attorneys receive.


Dedicated Emergency Rooms for Elderly Patients May Reduce Misdiagnoses

Some ER doctors and nurses currently don't take enough time to properly diagnose the multiple ailments with which older people tend to have.

By Kevin Duffan, Virginia Medical Malpractice Attorney

Would dedicated emergency rooms for elderly patients reduce misdiagnosis?  Some emergency room doctors and nurses currently don’t take enough time to properly diagnose the multiple ailments with which older people tend to have.  Those patients may not even have the same symptoms as younger people.  Urinary tract infections sometimes cause enough confusion to be mistaken for dementia, find out how you can protect your loved ones.

 

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About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm whose attorneys focus on injury and accident law, and we have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctor mistakes, nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see for yourself. Though not every case meets our criteria, we offer free, initial consultations. Give us a call at (800) 752-0042. If you can’t get through due to high call volume, leave a message and we will return your call promptly. Also be sure to check out our free special report Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider. Our primary office is in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA), but we also have offices in Hampton, VA, and Elizabeth City, North Carolina (NC).  Our lawyers hold licenses in NC, SC, WV, KY, FL and DC. We also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube . Furthermore, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard and Norfolk Injuryboard as pro bono public information services.


Virginia Beach Man Died After Doctor Failed to Notify Him of Pneumonia Diagnosis

Misdiagnoses can have tragic consequences. At the same time, some mistakes are excusable or unavoidable. The inexplicable actions by numerous doctors in this case include not attempting to reach an accurate diagnosis in the first place (e.g., failing to take x-rays) and then not doing everything possible to get in touch with the sick man so he could receive proper treatment for his ultimately fatally illness.

By John Cooper, Virginia Medical Malpractice Lawyer

A Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA), family recently received a small measure of justice nearly four years after losing a husband, father, son and uncle due to a shocking case of repeated medical malpractice that included misdiagnoses, negligence and errors by multiple private-practice and hospital-based doctors.

The victim’s widow won a $3.5 million verdict against the man’s primary physicians in September 2010, but the money must provide little comfort in light of the circumstances that led to this preventable loss of life.

In late 2006, the 24-year-old man went to his doctor because he was coughing and experiencing chest pain. The physician prescribed a narcotic painkiller but did not take x-rays or diagnosis any lung infection. Over the next week, the man visited other doctors and emergency rooms, eventually receiving the x-rays that allowed health care providers to diagnose pneumonia.

When the man’s first doctor, after even more delay, finally called to tell him he had bacterial pneumonia, the doctor’s staff called the wrong phone number and never placed any follow-up calls. When the man succumbed to his highly treated lung disease, he left behind two young children and a wife.

Fellow malpractice attorney Phil J. Geib helped the man’s survivors win their lawsuit, although the jury verdict was reduced to an award of $1.85 under Virginia’s unfair caps on malpractice penalties.

As this case shows, misdiagnoses can have tragic consequences. At the same time, some mistakes are excusable or unavoidable. The inexplicable actions by numerous doctors in this case include not attempting to reach an accurate diagnosis in the first place (e.g., failing to take x-rays) and then not doing everything possible to get in touch with the sick man so he could receive proper treatment for his ultimately fatally illness.

I am glad to see that those responsible for this medical malpractice and wrongful death were held accountable in court.

EJL

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm whose attorneys focus on injury and accident law, and we have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctor mistakes, nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see for yourself. Though not every case meets our criteria, we offer free, initial consultations. Give us a call at (800) 752-0042. If you can’t get through due to high call volume, leave a message and we will return your call promptly. Also be sure to check out our free special report Top 10 Tips from a Medical Malpractice Insider. Our primary office is in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA), but we also have offices in Hampton, VA, and Elizabeth City, North Carolina (NC).  Our lawyers hold licenses in NC, SC, WV, KY, FL and DC. We also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube . Furthermore, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard and Norfolk Injuryboard as pro bono public information services.


Defensive Medicine, Fact or Fiction?

 By Jim Lewis, Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Virginia

 

Another study has been published that seems to tout the rise of defensive medicine.  But what is the real issue here?

If doctors are overloading patients with unnecessary tests to avoid possible malpractice claims, and driving up the cost of medical care as a result, wouldn’t that be called insurance fraud, instead of defensive medicine?  The reality is that doctors are ordering sophisticated tests and procedures to diagnose complex illnesses, in which case, it is medically necessary and there is no “defensive medicine” at work.

Basically, some doctors may order unnecessary tests for many different reasons.  But, studies show that so-called “defensive medicine” is not a widespread incident. 

How can ordering a sophisticated test that validly avoids preventable diseases, be considered “defensive medicine?”  If your loved one was sick you would want as many tests done as possible until a diagnosis was made.  Defensive medicine is just another buzz word that doctors and insurance companies throw out there to convince the general public that tort reform, legal changes designed to make it more difficult for injured victims to sue those responsible, are needed.

So why would anyone want to limit the rights of a victim?  The people at fault do.  Negligent doctors and insurance companies have created the myth of defensive medicine as a way to convince the public and lawmakers that malpractice suits make health care costly and unaffordable. 

They then try to pass laws to limit the ability of patients who are victims of medical errors to hold doctors and hospitals accountable for their mistakes.  They expect people to believe that “defensive medicine” will go away, if they are not held responsible for their mistakes.  These changes would greatly affect Virginia medical malpractice lawyers, Virginia doctors, and those in Virginia who have suffered from medical malpractice and are seeking compensation.

A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report released October 9, 2009, found that there is no evidence of defensive medicine in private managed care systems. 
The CBO report notes that “Imposing limits on [the right to sue for damages] might be expected to have a negative impact on health outcomes.” CBO cites a study that finds that restricting the right to seek compensation for malpractice would lead to a .2 percent increase in the nation’s overall death rate. That means an additional 48,000 Americans killed and more than 400,000 injured by medical malpractice over the next ten years.

The facts are clear. Limiting or severely restricting the ability to file a claim in court for medical malpractice denies justice to injured individuals while benefiting big corporations’ balance sheets.

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About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm which focuses on injury and accident law and our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases, which includes hospital/doctor mistakes, and nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see for yourself. Though not every case meets our criteria, we offer free, initial consultations so give us a call at 1-800-752-0042. If you can’t get through due to high call volume, please leave a message and we will return your call promptly. Also be sure to check out our free special reports on the Top 10 Tips from a Medical Malpractice Insider and the top 5 surgical errors you must know about. Our primary office in based in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA) and we also have a North Carolina (NC) law office.  Our lawyers hold licenses in NC, SC, WV, KY, FL and DC. Our injury attorneys also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube . Furthermore, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard and Norfolk Injuryboard as a pro bono public information service.


Misdiagnosed Kidney Infection Results in Leg, Foot Amputation for Maryland (MD) Woman

Unable to stop the spread of the patient's sepsis, doctors decided to partially amputate her leg and foot. The woman later sued her two principal physicians and, on August 9,2010, won a jury verdict for $2.35 million. Jurors determined that the doctors failed to provide the proper standard of care.

By Jim Lewis, Medical Malpractice Attorney

Imagine going to the emergency room with a severe stomachache and coming out of a coma almost two weeks later missing part of one leg and most of another foot. This is exactly what happened to a Silver Springs, Maryland (MD), mother of two young children when doctors at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital misdiagnosed her kidney infection as kidney stones.

According to the Washington Post, 24-year-old Yesenia Rivera had been treated and released at Adventist two days before returning with what she perceived as only severe stomach pains. Doctors compounded their first misdiagnosis by ruling that Rivera had a ruptured ectopic pregnancy or a gallbladder problem. Rivera actually had a form of sepsis — a blood infection that spreads from a patient’s skin, bowels, lungs or kidneys and can prove fatal even if treated aggressively.

Unable to stop the spread of Rivera’s sepsis, doctors decided to partially amputate her leg and foot. Rivera later sued her two principal physicians and, on August 9,2010, won a jury verdict for $2.35 million. Jurors determined that the doctors, who were practicing at Adventist under contract, failed to provide the proper standard of care.

Medical mistakes take many forms, and missed diagnoses are among the most common and most serious. While perfection is too high a standard to which to hold doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health care providers, patients and families need to be able to receive compensation for injuries — and, sometimes, deaths — that result from errors made by medical professionals. I am glad the Maryland jury recognized that.

EJL

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm which focuses on injury and accident law and our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases, which includes hospital/doctor mistakes, and nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see for yourself. In addition, check out our FREE special reports on the Top 10 Tips from a Medical Malpractice Insider and the top 5 surgical errors you must know about. Our primary office in based in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA) and we also have a North Carolina (NC) law office. Our lawyers hold licenses in NC, SC, WV, KY and DC. We are ready to talk to you by phone right now. While we do not accept every case, we provide free initial confidential injury case consultations. So call us toll free at (800) 752-0042. Our injury attorneys also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube . Furthermore, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard Eastern Shore Virginia Injury Attorneys Blog and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as pro bono public information services.


Misdiagnosis a Common Medical Mistake

By Jim Lewis, Medical Malpractice Lawyer

We get a lot of calls about medical malpractice claims that arise from a doctor’s misdiagnosis of a serious medical condition. Misdiagnosis is where the physician doesn’t realize that the patient has a particular medical problem and sends them home with the wrong diagnosis and the wrong treatment plan. Sometimes, the patient may die or suffer some other catastrophic injury like the loss of a limb or amputation because they did not get the necessary medical treatment in a timely fashion.

Misdiagnosis of medical problems can occur in your family doctor’s office, a pediatrician’s office, an internist’s office, an urgent care facility, or even in a specialist’s office. A common setting is the emergency room at the local hospital. Part of the reason that emergency rooms are the location of misdiagnosis has to do with the nature of the practice of emergency room doctors. A crowded, busy emergency room particularly in a city like Virginia Beach, VA or Elizabeth City, NC can be very stressful. Emergency room physicians often get frustrated by the fact that some people, particularly those without health insurance, are forced to come to the emergency room to treat chronic problems rather than the kind of acute emergency situations that those hospital emergency rooms are really designed for.

The standard method for diagnosis is called differential diagnosis. Using differential diagnosis, the doctor is trained to figure out what are the possible problems with the patient and rank those in terms of the severity of risk to the patient’s health. Unfortunately, sometimes the rushed emergency room doctor will not take the time and get the differential diagnosis right. They may fail to think of and rule in or out a particular problem like appendicitis, or inflamed appendix, ignoring the symptoms which match up with that diagnosis.

Another way that emergency room misdiagnosis occurs is where the doctor or the hospital triage or intake nurse does not listen carefully enough to the patient to get all of the relevant history and symptoms. For example, the hospital emergency room may not recognize that there is some kind of mental or cognitive problem that is a sign of a stroke, by assuming that the patient is slow for some other reason. We have handled cases where the emergency room doctors treated folks who were in car accidents like second-class citizens not giving enough attention to some of the serious, but more subtle, effects that can happen like moderate traumatic brain injury.

Sometimes, a misdiagnosis in the emergency room will not result in a catastrophic injury to the patient because the correct diagnosis will be picked up later by a doctor who spends more time with the patient. However, it is unfortunately far too common that a loved one, whether a son or daughter, husband or wife, mom or dad, is sent home from the emergency room told that they just have the flu or a stomach bug only to have them find out days later that they have something much more serious and life threatening which went untreated because of a medical mistake.

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm which focuses on injury and accident law and our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases, which includes hospital/doctor mistakes, and nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see for yourself. In addition, check out our FREE special reports on the Top 10 Tips from a Medical Malpractice Insider and the top 5 surgical errors you must know about. Our primary office in based in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA) and we also have a North Carolina (NC) law office.  Our lawyers hold licenses in NC, SC, WV, KY and DC. We are ready to talk to you by phone right now—we provide free initial confidential injury case consultations, so call us toll free at 1-800-752-0042. Our injury attorneys also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube . Furthermore, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard and Norfolk Injuryboard as a pro bono public information service. PA