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Articles Posted in Failure to Diagnose

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Physicians have a duty to provide patients with competent medical care, which includes advising a patient of his or her individual health risks as well as the risks and benefits of any potential tests or treatment. As shown in a recent Maryland case, if a doctor fails to properly inform a patient of available diagnostic tests and treatment options, and the patient’s health is adversely impacted as a result, it may be grounds for a lack of informed consent claim. If you were harmed by your doctor’s failure to advise you of your testing and treatment options, you should speak to an experienced Maryland medical malpractice attorney to discuss what claims you may be able to pursue.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff presented to the defendant urologist in 2014 with complaints of urine in his blood. The defendant did not conduct any diagnostic tests to assess the plaintiff’s symptoms. Approximately a year later, the plaintiff was diagnosed with bladder cancer and kidney cancer. He then filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant setting forth claims of medical negligence and lack of informed consent, due to the defendant’s failure to advise the plaintiff of available tests or recommend that he undergo diagnostic testing.

Allegedly, prior to trial, the defendant filed numerous motions in limine asking the court to preclude the plaintiff from introducing evidence at trial, including a motion arguing that the plaintiff should not be able to present his lack of informed consent claim, arguing that the failure to recommend tests is not grounds for an informed consent claim. Continue Reading

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If a person who has been harmed by medical malpractice wishes to pursue a claim against the provider that caused his or her harm, the person must pursue the claim promptly. In other words, if a person delays, the applicable statute of limitations may bar the person from recovering damages. In some cases, however, it may not be immediately clear which statute of limitations applies or when the statute began to run. Recently, the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia discussed which statute of limitations applies in medical malpractice cases against the federal government in a case arising out of a failure to diagnose. If you or a loved one suffered injuries because of a doctor’s failure to provide a prompt and accurate diagnosis, you should meet with a skillful Baltimore misdiagnosis attorney to discuss which claims you may be able to pursue. At Arfaa Law Group, our attorneys regularly represent people in Virginia and Maryland malpractice cases, as well as cases in other states.

Facts Regarding the Decedent’s Care

Allegedly, the plaintiff’s loved one was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer on December 23, 2011. He ultimately succumbed to the disease. In January 2014, the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the Veterans Administration (VA) and an independent contractor who worked there, alleging their failure to diagnose the decedent’s cancer in a timely manner. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims on the ground that they were barred by the statute of limitations. The court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

Statute of Limitations Under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA)

Medical malpractice claims against an entity of the federal government are governed by the statute of limitations set forth in the FTCA. As a result, a plaintiff alleging harm due to medical negligence in an FTCA case must file an administrative claim within two years of when the cause of action accrues. A cause of action in a medical malpractice case accrues when the plaintiff has uncovered both his or her injury and the cause of the injury. In other words, it accrues when the facts reveal that negligence may have been involved in the plaintiff’s harm.

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In any case in which an injured party wishes to pursue damages, it is essential for the party to comply with the procedural rules set forth under Maryland law. Medical malpractice cases differ from other civil lawsuits, however, in that they have their own separate set of rules with regard to what a plaintiff must do to be permitted to pursue a claim. In a recent medical malpractice case arising out of the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland, the court affirmed the dismissal of the plaintiff’s claim for failing to file certificates in a timely manner, emphasizing the gravity of the failure to comply with the procedural rules. If you or a loved one were injured due to inadequate medical care, you should speak with a trusted medical malpractice attorney to discuss what you must do to recover damages.

Facts and Procedures of the Case

Allegedly, the decedent visited the defendant hospital in March 2014, with complaints of lower back pain and numbness and tingling in his legs. The attending physicians assessed the decedent as having a pinched nerve and discharged him. A couple of days later, the decedent had severe back pain and began vomiting. He returned to the defendant hospital but died on the following day, due to septic shock. The plaintiff then filed a medical malpractice claim in the Health Care Alternative Dispute Resolution Office (HCADRO) against the defendant hospital and the medical providers who treated the decedent.

Pursuant to the Health Care Malpractice Act, after the plaintiff filed her statement of claim, she had 90 days to file a certificate of a qualified expert. Reportedly, the plaintiff sought and obtained two extensions of time to file the certificate. She failed to meet the third deadline, however, after which the defendants filed a motion to dismiss. On the day on which the defendants filed their motion, the plaintiff filed her certificate and a motion to extend the time to file the certificate. On the following day, she filed an election to waive arbitration with HCADRO. The case was then transferred to the circuit court, where it was dismissed, due to the plaintiff’s failure to file a certificate within the time limitations. The plaintiff appealed.

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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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