When a medical professional is presented with the evidence they need to make a diagnosis and yet fails to do so, such a failure may rise to the level of medical malpractice. In some cases, the failure to diagnose results in the worsening of a patient’s condition, requiring in turn even more medical intervention. Such negligence can also result in the health care provider and its insurer taking a significant financial hit when forced to compensate a victim for their injuries.
A recent Pennsylvania jury verdict underscored the dangers of such medical malpractice to both the patient and the health care providers who are financially exposed because of employee or staff negligence. A man was awarded $3.4 million dollars when a doctor who was on staff at a hospital misread the results of a test and failed to diagnose a dangerous heart condition in a patient. Two years later, with worsening health, the patient’s condition was finally diagnosed.
A subsequent doctor discovered that the initial test results had disclosed abnormalities. But the initial cardiologist had reported back to the patient’s primary care physician that the test results had come back normal. In the interim, the patient’s condition had worsened and become increasingly life-threatening. Had it been caught earlier, the condition could have been treated and the patient’s quality of life improved. Instead, he will carry lifelong consequences from the failure to diagnose.
In the case described above both the doctor who misread the results and the hospital on whose staff he was working were held to be negligent. Patients who believe that a health care professional has committed an error that resulted in an injury or the worsening of a condition should consult with a seasoned medical malpractice attorney. An experienced lawyer can assess the case and help to get medical malpractice victims the compensation to which they are entitled.
Source: The Citizens’ Voice, “Jury awards $3.4M verdict in hospital negligence case,” James Halpin, March 8, 2018