failure-to-diagnose

When doctors are guilty of failure to diagnose cancer or another serious ailment, our lawyers are on your side

When you go to the doctor, he or she reviews your symptoms to make a medical diagnosis. You may need scans, blood work, and other testing to make or confirm a diagnosis, and might need to see a specialist. You assume when you follow the right steps, that you will receive the diagnosis and medical care you need. But, what happens when a doctor fails to recognize a potentially serious ailment? If your health care team fails to make an accurate diagnosis, the consequences can be disastrous—or even deadly.

Victims of medical mistakes and doctor negligence can turn to the experienced attorneys at Schochor, Federico and Staton, P.A., Baltimore and Washington D.C.’s premier medical malpractice law firm. We take a personal interest in your case, treating each client like an individual, not a case number.

About failure to diagnose cases

According to one study, failure to diagnose is the number one cause of medical malpractice lawsuits in the country. In fact, about 10 to 20 percent of patients are victims of missed, incorrect, or delayed diagnoses. At Schochor, Federico and Staton, P.A., we have handled countless tragic cases of patients with wrong or delayed diagnosis. One such case involved an infant with a non-functioning kidney. The child’s condition went undiagnosed for a year because the treating hospital misplaced ultrasound records and failed to follow-up with the patient. As a result, the Plaintiff will require dialysis and a kidney transplant in the future. We obtained a nearly $10 million settlement for the victim.

Such unfortunate examples are more common than one would like to think. Doctors sometime rush to make a diagnosis, failing to order the appropriate tests and follow-up with care. Hospitals are overworked and understaffed, leaving the door open for careless errors and a neglect of patients’ needs. Radiology errors, emergency room mistakes, and other forms of negligence all contribute to diagnostic problems.

The consequences of a missed diagnosis

Making an accurate diagnosis has its challenges as many conditions may present with similar symptoms. However, it is the responsibility of the health care professional to make and confirm a correct diagnosis so you or your loved one can receive the treatment necessary to address the ailment.

If your doctor fails to diagnose, here are some consequences you could face:

  • You could go down the wrong treatment path
  • You may be treated for the wrong condition
  • You may miss an opportunity for an early diagnosis
  • Your treatment may be been delayed
  • Your loved one may have died because a condition went undiagnosed

Failure to diagnose cancer

There are a wide range of illnesses and ailments a doctor could fail to diagnose, from heart disease to infections. At the law firm of Schochor, Federico and Staton, we handle a wide range of these types of cases, one of the most serious of which is failure to diagnose cancer or a delayed diagnosis of cancer.

For example, a patient may come in complaining of severe headaches and blurred vision. The patient’s symptoms may be the result of a variety of medical problems so the doctor orders an MRI of the brain. The radiologist misses a mass on the brain.

In actuality, the patient has a brain tumor, but the doctor now believes the patient is simply suffering from migraines. After the pain from the headaches fails to go away, the patient returns for another MRI. This time, a different radiologist notices the mass and alerts the treating doctor right away.  Unfortunately, now the tumor has grown in size and is inoperable, leaving the patient with pain, suffering, and a terminal prognosis.

Contact an attorney in Baltimore or Washington D.C. if your doctor failed to diagnose your condition

Not getting the right diagnosis is a terrifying prospect. If a doctor who missed or delayed a diagnosis has harmed you or someone you love, contact Schochor, Federico and Staton at 410-234-1000 right away. We assist with clients in Washington D.C. and throughout Maryland, including Baltimore, Silver Spring, Upper Marlboro, Rockville, Greenbelt, Annapolis, and Columbia.