Archive for the ‘misdiagnosis’ tag

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.


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.

Time Limits for Filing Medical Malpractice Claims in Connecticut

July 7th, 2015 at 7:00 am

filing medical malpractice claims, Westport Personal Injury AttorneyConnecticut state laws that can affect a medical malpractice case are varied. Moreover, it can be confusing for some parties if they are exploring whether or not they might have cause to file a claim for medical malpractice or error. Like most states, Connecticut has a legal code that mandates a statute of limitations for a party’s eligibility to file a medical malpractice claim. However, there are exceptions that may apply to the statute of limitations depending on the circumstances of the case.

Standard Two Year Statute of Limitations

The standard deadline or statute of limitations gives a complainant two years to file a lawsuit. Missing the two-year window ends the ability to file a medical malpractice lawsuit unless one of the designated exceptions for missing the initial filing time period pertains to the case.

Discovery Rule Presents One Exception

The discovery rule applies as one of the potential exceptions to the initial or standard deadline. This rule pertains to situations where a complainant has not had the time or wherewithal to become aware that he or she might have a claim for the medical malpractice suit. In Connecticut, the discovery rule allows for the standard deadline of two years to begin once a party has had a reasonable amount of time to discover an injury related to the potential case of medical malpractice.

Other Exceptions

There are additional exceptions to the statute of limitations in Connecticut. Various circumstances of the case will potentially determine if a deviation from the statute limitations will be allowed. For instance, if a defendant moves to another state after the malpractice was committed or is found to have fraudulently concealed the malpractice, the statute of limitations may be modified.

Statute of Repose

Another element of the statute of limitations is known as the statute of repose. This is a definite deadline for malpractice suits to be filed, regardless of when a plaintiff discovered an injury that was caused by medical malpractice or error. In Connecticut, there is a three-year statute of repose for filing of medical malpractice claims—no matter when the injury was discovered.

In several states, a medical malpractice lawsuit will have a limit or cap on the total amount of compensation that can be recovered by an injured party. However, in Connecticut there is no such award of damages limit in a medical malpractice case.

Consult with a CT Medical Malpractice Attorney Today

If you suspect that you or a family member has been the victim of medical malpractice or error, please do not delay in consulting with a Westport personal injury attorney to discuss your case today. Attorney Richard H. Raphael has the knowledge and experience to manage your case so you can focus on recovery. Call 203-226-6168 today.

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