Archive for the ‘Misdiagnosis’ Category

Eighty Percent of MS Patients Given Incorrect Initial Diagnosis

December 1st, 2015 at 10:56 am

ms patients, misdiagnosis, Westport Medical Malpractice AttorneyMultiple sclerosis (MS) is classified as an autoimmune disease—one’s immune system attacks the central nervous system. Basically, when a person has MS, it is difficult for the individual’s brain to transmit messages to the rest of his or her body.

The disease typically appears for the first time in young adults between the ages of 15 and 45. The effects of the disease can be mild, with victims suffering from weakness or numbness in limbs, to severe, leaving victims paralyzed and/or blind. Although there are theories on what causes MS, there are currently no known causes or cures.

According to current statistics, there are more than 400,000 people in the U.S. who suffer with MS. Worldwide, that number is 2.5 million people. Each week, at least 200 people are diagnosed with the disease, just in the United States.

However, a recent study concluded that more than 80 percent of MS victims are initially diagnosed incorrectly. And for 40 percent of misdiagnosed victims, it typically takes more than a year before they are finally diagnosed correctly.

The study was conducted by the Multiple Sclerosis Society. The organization surveyed 1,515 sufferers of MS. Forty-three percent of those questioned initially presented with altered sensations and numbness in different parts of their bodies, 47 percent presented with vision difficulties, and 41 percent had difficulty walking.

Almost 30 percent of those incorrectly diagnosed are told they are only suffering from a pinched nerve. Another 15 percent are told they are suffering from anxiety, depression or stress. Ten percent are told their symptoms are a result of a stroke.

Twenty-five percent of patients made an average of four visits to their primary care physician complaining of symptoms before they were finally referred to a neurologist in order to investigate these symptoms further.

Typical early symptoms include fatigue, lack of co-ordination, limb weakness, loss of sight, numbness and tingling. Early diagnosis can be crucial in order to implement medical treatment and other lifestyle changes which can help hold off the sometimes devastating effect the disease can have on its victims.

If you were given a delayed diagnosis of MS, or other chronic disease, please contact an experienced Westport medical malpractice attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have for your pain and loss.


Medical Malpractice: Failure to Review Patient Test Results

August 27th, 2015 at 10:42 am

patient test results, medical error, Westport Medical Malpractice AttorneyWhen doctors do not follow medical protocol and address patients’ needs and concerns with the utmost care and attention, grievous errors ranging from misdiagnosis to death can occur.

Many people are surprised to learn how frequently medical malpractice occurs because of a physician’s failure to accurately review the results of a patient’s tests, reports and x-rays. In some of the most egregious cases of medical malpractice, a physician did not fail to adequately read or interpret a patient’s lab test, report or x-ray. Instead, he or she simply failed to review the information at all, in its entirety.

Patient Death from Failure to Review Test Results

In one patient’s case, a doctor’s failure to review the results of an electrocardiogram cost the patient his life. The patient, a 45-year-old male, entered a medical center with stroke-like symptoms. While in the ER, one doctor administered an electrocardiogram and sent the results to the patient’s family doctor who was on call at the hospital at the time.

Although the patient’s doctor was notified, she did not check in on the patient until the following day and, according to the patient’s attorney, she did not ever review the results of the electrocardiogram.

One week after the patient’s initial complaint, he suffered a heart attack and died. The patient’s family sued the family doctor for medical malpractice and negligence, claiming that the doctor’s misdiagnosis of his condition caused his death. The jury agreed and awarded the patient’s next of kin over $6 million in compensation for wrongful death.

Medical Malpractice Cases can be Complicated

Medical malpractice cases are complicated in the legal arena. Doctors, nurses, and hospitals are protected by numerous waivers, rules, and regulations, therefore making it difficult to sue. However, when a medical error does occur, a victim or a victim’s family should immediately consult with a skilled medical malpractice legal firm to discuss what litigation option may be available. Additionally, if negligence occurs, and a victim or family believes they can prove that the negligence caused suffering or death, they may have a strong case and may be awarded significant compensation for their losses. Consulting an attorney is essential.

Speak with a Westport, CT Attorney Today

If you have experienced a misdiagnosis that resulted in pain and suffering, or if you have lost a loved one due to doctor or hospital error, please contact a Westport medical malpractice attorney. We offer both advice and representation, will handle your case individualized attention and diligence, and will fight hard to get you and your family the compensation you deserve. Richard H. Raphael, Attorney at Law, is experienced in representing clients throughout Connecticut. 

Telemedicine and Medical Malpractice in Connecticut

August 5th, 2015 at 7:00 am

telemedicine, Westport Medical Malpractice AttorneyThe rise in technology has brought with it a rise in online services and solutions. One of the more recent rising trends is telemedicine. Most major television channels have some sort of  doctor program where celebrity doctors offer advice and services —”Dr. Phil,” “Dr. Oz,” and “The Doctors” are just a few examples. Due to the popularity of these medical shows, other providers and companies have been experimenting in the field of telemedicine and potentially exposing themselves to medical malpractice liability.

Insurance companies are some of the more recent telemedicine bandwagoners. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, a Connecticut insurance company, offers an online forum called LiveHealth Online to connect patients and doctors. All the doctors who advise on the site are licensed to practice in the state; however many do not actually live and work in Connecticut. There is no guarantee that a user will talk to his or her own primary care provider or that he or she will even connect with the same doctor over multiple visits to the website.

Those who support online medical website and other telemedicine services say that it is similar to visiting a pharmacy versus a primary care provider; the goal is a quick consult for a minor medical problem. Many disagree with the comparison. At a pharmacy, a licensed pharmacist has an opportunity to physically examine any potential patients/customers, whereas the physical interaction is impossible in telemedicine. Opponents of the practice are concerned about the level of care that can be provided to a patient as well as continuity of care if a medical problem persists.

Because the risks of telemedicine include misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, and miscommunication, Connecticut state legislators are considering a bill that would limit the services provided through telemedicine. Senate Bill 467, if passed, would require that online doctors access medical records for each patient before making a diagnosis, as well as belong to a reputable medical practice that is held to the same accountability standards as traditional practices. Additionally, the bill would require that patients be made aware of the services and limitations of online medical treatment.

Telemedicine is a newer field and is thus not subject to the same medical malpractice rules and restrictions that limit other doctors and medical facilities. However, due to the absence of physical interaction, the risks for medical error can be even higher in telemedicine cases.

If you received treatment from a doctor, either online or in person, and believe a medical error or misdiagnosis occurred, please consult with a Westport medical malpractice attorney to discuss your case and options as soon as possible. We are proud to represent clients throughout Connecticut and we look forward to speaking with you.

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