Articles Posted in Failure to Diagnose

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Medical malpractice cases arising out of a doctor’s failure to diagnose a patient often involve complicated issues and conflicting positions regarding what harm the patient sustained due to the delay in receiving a proper diagnosis. Thus, in cases in which the patient alleges a doctor committed malpractice by failing to diagnose the patient, expert testimony is needed to establish the doctor’s liability and the patient’s harm. In a recent case in which the plaintiff alleged she suffered harm due to her doctor’s failure to diagnose breast cancer, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland discussed the scope of expert testimony permitted. If you sustained damages due to a delayed or inaccurate diagnosis, you should meet with a skillful Maryland malpractice attorney to discuss what evidence you must produce to hold your care provider liable for your harm.

Facts Regarding the Plaintiff’s Treatment and the Underlying Trial

Allegedly, the plaintiff noticed a lump in her right breast, which she reported to the defendant, her gynecologist. She underwent diagnostic testing, which reportedly revealed no evidence of malignancy. The plaintiff continued to treat with the defendant, who repeatedly advised her that the lump was nothing to worry about. In 2012, the plaintiff underwent a biopsy, which revealed that she had cancer in her right breast. She subsequently underwent a bilateral mastectomy. She then sued the defendant for medical malpractice, arguing that the defendant breached the standard of care by failing to diagnose her cancer in a timely manner.

Following a trial, the jury found in favor of the plaintiff. The defendant appealed, and the court issued an opinion reversing the verdict and remanding the case for further proceedings. Following the second trial, the plaintiff appealed, arguing, in part, that the trial court erred in precluding testimony from the plaintiff’s expert witness. Continue Reading

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Failure to diagnose a patient’s illness properly is among the most common forms of medical negligence. If this has happened to you or someone you care about, we are here to help. Our Baltimore diagnostic error attorneys understand the devastating toll that a misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis or missed diagnosis can have on a patient and his or her life, which is why we will work diligently to help secure a better future for you and your family.

Diagnostic errors cause serious preventable harm to patients. Countrywide estimates for these errors range from 40,000 to 4 million every year. A new study published in the peer-reviewed journal Diagnosis reveals that 34 percent (about one third) of all medical malpractice cases that lead to death or permanent disability arise from an erroneous or delayed diagnosis, making it the leading cause of serious harm among medical mistakes. And of those instances, about 75 percent can be tracked back to diagnostic mistakes involving three medical conditions: cancer (37.8 percent), vascular events (22.2. percent) and infection (13.5 percent). The most frequent disease in each category was lung cancer, stroke and sepsis. The findings, from an analysis of nearly 12,000 malpractice claims, were sponsored by the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine.

When a diagnostic error leads to the wrong treatment, delayed treatment or no treatment at all, the patient’s health condition can be made much worse. If someone suffers harm due to a diagnostic error, a medical malpractice claim can be filed against an at-fault medical professional. However, the burden of proof in every medical malpractice case is on the victim, who must establish each of the following elements:

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If you or a loved one has suffered an injury that you believe is the result of medical malpractice, our Baltimore medical injury attorneys are here for you. With extensive experience advocating for victims of medical malpractice in Maryland, we understand how to protect your rights and hold the at-fault party accountable for the harm that they caused.

Recently, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland remanded to the circuit court a medical malpractice and wrongful death case alleging failure to diagnose and treat the decedent’s condition within the appropriate time frame. In this case, the plaintiff failed to file a supplemental certificate in a timely manner and the circuit court dismissed the case as a result. The appellate court remanded the case to the lower court to clarify the question of whether dismissal was the appropriate response, or whether some other remedy would have been more appropriate.

In a medical malpractice case, Maryland law requires a plaintiff file a supplemental certificate of a qualified expert within 15 days following the date of the discovery deadline. The court is required to grant an extension to this deadline if “good cause” is shown. However, if a plaintiff fails to file a supplemental certificate of a qualified expert for a defendant, the court can dismiss the claim on a motion of the defendant. Here, the circuit court denied the plaintiff’s motion for additional time holding that the plaintiff did not show good cause. The circuit court, thus, dismissed the case altogether. While the dismissal was without prejudice, it had the same effect because the statute of limitations had run in the case.

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While you trust that your doctor will provide the utmost quality of medical care to your child, the unfortunate reality is that this does not always happen. Just like adults, children are often the victims of medical malpractice. If your child was injured or died as a result of medical malpractice, you need to consult a seasoned Baltimore medical malpractice attorney immediately. At Arfaa Law Group, we are committed to holding negligent medical professionals accountable and seeking the monetary awards that you rightfully deserve.

A new study released by The Doctors Company, a physician-owned medical malpractice insurer, finds that misdiagnosis is the main reason for medical malpractice claims involving children. A misdiagnosis involving either a missed, failed or incorrect diagnosis, typically caused by insufficient medical evaluations, is the number one allegation in medical malpractice claims involving children aged one month to 17 years. It is also the second-most common allegation in lawsuits involving infants younger than one month old.

The study analyzed 1,215 claims from the year 2008 to the year 2017 that were filed against doctors in 52 specialties. The allegations in each claim, as well as the factors that led to the harm, were documented in each case. For instance, poor communication between doctors and the patient or family played a role in 15 to 22 percent of claims depending on the age of the child. In addition, the report provides specific recommendations about how healthcare professionals can reduce the risk of harm to children.

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If you or a loved one has developed sepsis while undergoing medical treatment, or suffered harm as a result of undiagnosed or improperly treated sepsis, it is imperative for you to contact a seasoned Baltimore medical malpractice attorney. At Arfaa Law Group, we work diligently to build the strongest possible case on your behalf.

The Study

According to a new study released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), three-quarters of US hospitals fail to provide appropriate care for sepsis. The study assigns traditional grades to the percentage of patients who receive proper care. Just 1 percent received an A, while a disturbing 74.8 percent of hospitals received a failing grade. CMS utilizes traditional school grades as opposed to a star rating system because the rationale is that it is a more accurate system. Consider the following: if a hospital only provides appropriate treatment 60 percent of the time, that is a failing grade, as opposed to three stars. The study examined data that CMS has recently released comparing hospital performance across the nation.

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Unfortunately, surgery errors injure countless patients in Maryland and across the country every year. When surgical mistakes injure a patient, the patient and his or her family are left guessing how such a mistake occurred and what legal options are available to them. If you have suffered harm and you believe it was because of a surgeon’s negligence, our experienced Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys can help. At Arfaa Law Group, we are devoted to holding negligent medical professionals accountable.

An elderly woman who had both her healthy kidneys removed in what she alleged to be an erroneous surgery recently died, nine months following the procedure. She suffered a cardiac arrest and remained unconscious before she was declared dead. After her kidneys were removed, the woman was going through several hours of dialysis three days a week and was waiting to get on the national transplant waiting list. Physicians then allegedly confirmed she never had kidney cancer at all. The hospital reportedly never indicated what led to the misdiagnosis. At that point, the woman filed a medical negligence claim against the hospital, claiming that she would not have agreed to have her kidneys removed if the doctors at the hospital had not strongly advised her to do so. The hospital may now be sued for wrongful death as well.

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Obtaining the correct diagnosis is vital to getting the right treatment for your health condition. If you have suffered due to a missed diagnosis or delayed diagnosis of Crohn’s disease, you may be entitled to compensation for any harm that you suffered. At Arfaa Law Group, our diligent Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys are devoted to providing you with the legal assistance you need in order to move on with your life.

Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease is a form of inflammatory bowel disease that involves ongoing, chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. The condition affects the entire digestive tract and can be both painful and debilitating. Currently, there is no known cure for Crohn’s disease but treatment is administered in an effort to alleviate symptoms. Treatment can also potentially prevent a person from having to undergo surgery.

A few years ago, a Baltimore jury awarded a patient millions of dollars when doctors misdiagnosed an ulcer, prompting more than a dozen unnecessary surgeries that led to the patient’s Crohn’s disease flaring up. According to the complaint, physicians were negligent in failing to diagnose the patient’s symptoms as an exacerbation of Crohn’s without considering any other conditions that could have been at play.

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People who suffer from chronic pain face very real day-to-day challenges that are often dismissed by medical professionals simply because the symptoms cannot be seen. If you have suffered a diagnosis error related to fibromyalgia, you need a compassionate and understanding Baltimore medical malpractice attorney on your side. At Arfaa Law Group, we understand the impact that chronic pain can have on every aspect of your life and how negligent medical professionals can make that pain worse.

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a condition that triggers pain all over the body, sleep issues, tiredness and often emotional and mental distress. Sadly, it is one of the most commonly misdiagnosed medical conditions. According to one study by the National Institute of Health, misdiagnosis of fibromyalgia for another musculoskeletal disorder occurred in approximately 13.3 percent of the patients who were included in the study population. Another report indicates that as many as 2/3 of people are told they have fibromyalgia when they are actually suffering from another medical issue.

Individuals who have fibromyalgia are more sensitive to pain, fatigue and muscle stiffness than people who do not have the condition. In some cases, symptoms start after a physical trauma or significant event (i.e., psychological stress, surgery, infection, etc.) while, in other cases, symptoms gradually accumulate over time with no specific triggering event. Many people with this disease are unable to work and lead normal lives due to the pain. While there is no cure for fibromyalgia, there are several treatment options such as pain management and medications that can improve a patient’s quality of life.

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Diagnostic errors can lead to severe, even deadly. injuries. If a medical professional’s late or missed diagnosis harmed you, you need to reach a seasoned Baltimore misdiagnosis attorney as soon as possible. At Arfaa Law Group, we understand how difficult it can be to deal with medical malpractice, which is why we will handle your case with the utmost compassion. To maximize your chances of recovery, we personally prepare every case for trial.

An Ohio woman was recently awarded millions of dollars after suffering severe injuries due to malpractice. M.D., a retired speech pathologist visited Firelands Hospital in Sandusky, Ohio complaining that she was not feeling well. After undergoing several scans and tests, she was given steroids to treat a brain tumor. The only problem was that she did not have a brain tumor. She had an infection growing in her brain, which deteriorated after doctors gave her steroids. Specifically, the steroids led to the infection getting worse and spreading to other parts of the brain, leaving her nearly incapacitated.

The family sued two neurologists, alleging that if the negligence had not occurred, M.D. would have been a healthy woman who would have walked out of the hospital herself in 2013. Now, she can no longer use her legs and the cost of her care is extremely high. The jury agreed with the plaintiff and awarded over $7 million in damages.

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A misdiagnosis can have severe and long-term consequences for a patient. If you have been hurt because a medical professional misdiagnosed your condition, you may be able to seek compensation for your harm. At Arfaa Law Group, our diligent Baltimore misdiagnosis attorneys will evaluate the facts of your case and provide you with an honest assessment of your claim.

A Maryland appellate panel has affirmed the mid-trial dismissal of a lawsuit accusing a Johns Hopkins Hospital doctor of misdiagnosing a woman with lung cancer instead of the rare disease she firmly believed she had contracted, and settling a quarrel over when the three-year statute of limitations began to run.

The facts of the case are as follows. M.M., an Arizona resident, contracted Coccidioidomycosis (commonly known as “Cocci” or “Valley Fever”) – a disease caused by a fungus germane to the semi arid areas of the southwestern states. In 2008, M.M. believed she experienced symptoms consistent with a Cocci infection. That same year, she and her husband relocated to Maryland where she sought treatment at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Her doctor there stated that he believed her symptoms were more likely due to lung cancer rather than Cocci. In fact, the doctor said there was a 90 percent chance that M.M. had lung cancer and stated the only way to treat it was to conduct a partial lung lobotomy. In 2009, a portion of M.M.’s lung was removed. It was later confirmed that M.M., in fact, did have a Cocci infection.