In some cases, the failure to diagnose an illness in a timely manner — such as when symptoms first present — could end up causing a patient irreparable harm. Like cancer, there are many diseases, viral infections and bacterial infections that could easily be treated if they are caught in time. Otherwise, they could have devastating consequences the longer they go without treatment. A medical malpractice claim recently filed by a Louisiana woman claims her condition worsened due to doctor negligence in diagnosing her illness.
The woman contracted a rare virus that attacks the brain — herpes simplex encephalitis. The virus causes a patient’s brain to become inflamed and is related to a more benign form that produces cold sores. Her lawsuit claims that had she received proper treatment in a timely manner, her illness would not have progressed as it did.
Three doctors were named in the suit, which claims that they violated common standards of care with regard to her diagnosis and treatment. She also claims her case was mismanaged by the doctors in question, causing her to sustain damages such as the cost of her medical care, emotional distress and lost wages. The suit did not disclose the amount of damages the woman is seeking.
When Louisiana residents go to a doctor, they expect that doctor to be able to determine what is wrong with them and prescribe a course of treatment that will fix or otherwise manage the problem. When a proper diagnosis eludes a physician — or a condition or illness is misdiagnosed — a patient’s condition could continue to deteriorate to the point where it may cause permanent disability. If that should happen, a patient is entitled to file a medical malpractice claim against the medical personnel deemed responsible. If a patient dies, that person’s family may file the claim.
Source: The Louisiana Record, “Doctors accused of medical malpractice in case of misdiagnosis of brain inflammation virus“, Kyle Barnett, May 30, 2014