To err is human. Doctors, nurses and hospitals are no exception. According to a study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, as many as 10-15% of medical diagnoses are wrong. That data, taken from patient autopsies, paints a fairly accurate picture about Syracuse medical malpractice lawsuits for mistakes made by local practitioners and at area hospitals, like Crouse Hospital, St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center, University Hospital and Community General Hospital. That is, most patients receive proper medical care, but nearly 2 in 10 will not.
Should I call a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer to find out if I have a case? The short answer is yes. As your time to file a lawsuit is limited, you should call sooner, rather than later. In an effort to provide some guidance to the victims of medical malpractice, we will attempt to identify five warning signs of medical negligence:
ONE: Be concerned if, despite treatment for your illness, you do not get better (be very concerned if you in fact get worse). After settling on a diagnosis, whether or not it's the correct one, many health care professionals choose not to look further. No one wants to admit that they were wrong. Seek a second opinion, as the diagnosis you carry may be incorrect!
TWO: Be concerned if your diagnosis does not seem to match your symptoms. We all have access to the internet. Search the web to see if your symptoms are consistent with the diagnosed condition. If not, you may have been misdiagnosed. Good sources of information about your symptoms and your condition include WebMD (www.webmd.com) and YourDiagnosis (www.yourdiagnosis.com), as well as WD (www.wrongdiagnosis.com). Take this information to the doctor who diagnosed you, or to a new doctor, and ask questions. Help your doctor help you!
THREE: Be wary of a diagnosis based solely upon a single lab test. Labs can be wrong. Make sure that your doctor questions the lab results and, if a very serious condition, request that a second lab perform an analysis.
FOUR: Be concerned if your doctor attributes common complaints to an uncommon diagnosis. Often, a headache without more is, well, just a headache.
FIVE: Challenge a diagnosis that can be confirmed or ruled-out with a test that you have not received. If there is a test that will paint a complete picture for your doctor, you should receive it. If it has not been recommended, ask for it (see sign TWO, supra - do research)! The failure to diagnose a condition is often due to the decision not to order a test when the test was indicated.
While a medical malpractice lawsuit cannot fix the physical damage caused by a misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose, but it can help to secure funds so that you and your family can attempt to live a normal life despite your losses, which may include permanent disability due to a surgical error, wrongful death due to nursing negligence, limb loss due to infection, or brain damage due to medication errors. A lawsuit may also recover future medical costs and restore economic losses, such as lost wages and benefits.