What Kind Of Cases Does A Medical Malpractice Attorney Handle?

By VSCP LAW

A recent Johns Hopkins study that analyzed medical death rate data over an eight-year period calculated that more than 250,000 deaths per year in the United States are due to medical mistakes, or “medical malpractice.” The types of medical treatment that resulted in the deaths of these patients varies exponentially. Read on to understand the most common types of cases a Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer might handle.    

DELAY IN DIAGNOSIS

When someone presents to their doctor with a list of symptoms, the doctor should consider whether any of the symptoms indicate a medical problem that requires timely action. For instance, if a healthcare professional fails to recognize signs of stroke or for any reason delays treatment, the person could suffer otherwise preventable injuries. In other words, if a doctor acts quickly to treat the patient for stroke, the patient is likely to make a full recovery. But if the doctor delays in diagnosing (and therefore treating) the patient for stroke, the patient could suffer serious, life-altering, permanent injuries.

If a healthcare professional delays diagnosis of stroke or any other time sensitive medical event, thereby delaying or withholding lifesaving treatment and disability-preventing treatment, they could be held liable for medical malpractice.

MISDIAGNOSIS

Healthcare providers often misdiagnose patients, which could lead to serious injury or death. Misdiagnoses could be based on misunderstandings of gender, race, or just a lack of necessary medical knowledge.

One area of misdiagnosis that has gotten press lately is doctors’ frequent misdiagnosis of heart attacks in women. Because women experiencing heart attacks have symptoms that differ from men’s heart attack symptoms, doctors fail to recognize that a heart attack is indeed what the woman is suffering from. While men may often experience chest pain or numbness in their left arms when having a heart attack, women may experience nausea, stomach pain, or dizziness. Poorly-informed doctors misdiagnose women with menstrual cramps or indigestion rather than treating them urgently for the heart attacks they are experiencing.

Misdiagnoses can result in serious injury or death and, in those cases, the patient or their loved ones should consult a medical malpractice attorney immediately. 

FAILURE TO ACT URGENTLY

As discussed above, there are often cases where a doctor or hospital staff needs to act quickly in order to save the patient from serious illness, injury, or death. Strokes and heart attacks are obvious examples of the need to act urgently, but what about other medical events? For instance, if a radiology report picks up an aggressive tumor in the brain, the treating doctors should act urgently to schedule surgery or chemotherapy or radiation to get the patient the timely care they need. Or what if a patient presents with a bacterial infection? Failure to treat that infection with the proper antibiotics could result in serious illness, sepsis, or amputation. 

Your Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer will evaluate your medical records to determine whether the healthcare providers failed to act urgently.

SURGICAL ERRORS

Surgeons are responsible for doing exactly what they stipulate to and nothing more and nothing less. Perhaps they damage a nerve, operate on the wrong body part, leave a piece of surgical equipment (eg, sponge or scalpel) inside the body cavity, or they damage an organ. All of these mistakes support a medical malpractice action, as does any negligence by the anesthesiologist in the administration of the anesthesia.

If you believe a loved one has suffered injuries or has died as the result of medical negligence, you may have a medical malpractice cause of action. Learn what to do next from the lawyers at VSCP LAW (www.vscplaw.com).

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