Studies tell us that about 12 million people seeking outpatient medical care in the U.S. are misdiagnosed each year. That works out to about 1 out of 20 patients receiving improper care.
In the case of a young Connecticut woman who was seeking relief for an asthma attack, a misdiagnosis led to her having a leg amputated and being awarded nearly $25 million as a result.
Here’s What Happened
When she was 18 and a recent high school graduate, the woman checked in at Griffin Hospital for an asthma attack. A star athlete for her school, she had excelled at basketball and volleyball and had already begun taking college courses.
Doctors at the hospital became concerned about numbness and pain she experienced in her left leg, and a test confirmed the presence of a clot.
Rather than admitting the woman into the hospital, the on-call vascular surgeon asked for another test then sent her home with instructions to return three days later.
Unfortunately, her conditioned worsened and she eventually had part of her leg amputated.
How The Jury Ruled
The trial itself lasted for five weeks, with the jury finding the on-call vascular surgeon 60% responsible. The remaining blame was placed on other attending physicians and the hospital.
The woman’s lawyers were able to successfully prove that the physicians had failed to properly care for her, had whiffed on the leg clot diagnosis and botched their responsibilities in advising her in a timely basis to return to the hospital to be admitted.
How Misdiagnosis Happens
Unfortunately, there are a host of reasons for a misdiagnosis to occur. The more common ones include:
- Doctor negligence
- Unwillingness on the part of the insurance company to cover proper testing
- Insufficient check on the medical background of the patient
- Faulty or inaccurate medical tests
- Poor communication between the patient and the doctor
If You’ve Been Misdiagnosed, Call The Fitzgerald Law Firm
Whether intentionally or not, medical personnel who have acted carelessly or negligently should be held accountable for injuries resulting from their mistakes.
If you feel you’ve been misdiagnosed, get in touch with us here at The Fitzgerald Law Firm. The first consultation is always free, so call us at 800-323-9900.