Doctors and other health care providers have a duty to use reasonable care in assessing a patient's signs and symptoms in order to reach a diagnosis. When a health care provider fails to take adequate steps to diagnose his patient's condition, the patient will be deprived of treatment necessary for his safety. A disease or serious medical condition will be allowed to progress, leading to serious injury or death for the patient. If a doctor fails to use reasonable care to diagnose his patient's condition and serious injury results, the doctor has committed medical malpractice and the patient is legally entitled to compensation.
Lawyers Advocating For Patients In Failure To Diagnose Cases
At Garau Germano, P.C., we have substantial experience in handling medical malpractice claims arising from a physician or health care provider's failure to diagnose a condition. We thoroughly investigate these claims and enlist the aid of medical experts in order to determine and prove what the doctor should have done to diagnose the condition, and how the outcome could have been changed if the doctor had exercised reasonable care.
Many failure to diagnose cases involve the failure to diagnose cancer. A family practice doctor fails to order a chest X-ray for a patient with a persistent cough, allowing the patient's lung cancer to progress undetected. A radiologist reading a mammogram determines that a suspicious lump is a benign cyst, when in reality it is a breast cancer. In the setting of cancer cases, the failure to make a prompt diagnosis allows the disease to spread and reduces the chance of a cure for the patient.
The results of a physician's failure to diagnose can be equally tragic outside the setting of cancer cases. An emergency room doctor may decide that a patient's chest pain is the result of heartburn, missing the actual diagnosis of a heart attack. Or a family practice physician decides that his patient's belly pain is being caused by a stomach virus, missing the correct diagnosis of appendicitis. When a doctor or other health care provider fails to take the reasonable and necessary steps to evaluate and diagnose his patient's condition, who places the patient in danger. The results are often devastating for the patient.
Some examples of some of the failure to diagnose cases our attorneys have successfully handled include:
- A gastroenterologist fails to perform appropriate testing to evaluate his patient's complaints of rectal bleeding, leading to a three-year delay in the diagnosis of the patient's colon cancer.
- Doctors at a V.A. hospital fail to perform necessary testing on a patient presenting with chest pain before discharging the patient. The patient dies of a heart attack within two days after discharge from the hospital.
- An obstetrician fails to perform required tests in response to her patient's complaints of decreased fetal movement. A diagnosis of fetal distress is missed, resulting in the baby being stillborn a week later.
If you or a loved one has suffered serious harm as a result of a doctor's failure to diagnose a condition, the attorneys at Garau Germano, P.C., can help. Our lawyers will work to hold the responsible health care providers accountable for the error and to obtain maximum damages on your behalf.
To learn more, please call our Indianapolis, Indiana, law firm today at 317-643-4232 or toll free at 800-631-6743.