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Doctor Negligence and Malpractice Cases

Doctor negligence can occur in many different medical settings. Doctor malpractice cases are most often associated with improperly performed surgeries, cancer misdiagnosis and negligent obstetrical care. However, medical malpractice can also occur as a result of medication errors, failure to properly listen and understand the patient’s signs and symptoms, negligent interpretation of diagnostic tests such as MRI’s, CAT scans or sonograms, or other miscellaneous doctor mistakes.

The physician-patient relationship is one of extraordinary trust that requires clear communication and understanding regarding diagnosis and the various options for appropriate treatment. Oftentimes doctor negligence arises as a result of simply failing to listen to and act upon the patient’s signs and symptoms. Such negligence can cost a patient precious time when seeking the appropriate diagnosis and treatment for their condition and in the case of a doctor, mistakes such as these can be cause for a doctor malpractice case.

For example, a patient with shortness of breath can be incorrectly diagnosed with asthma or allergies, unless the doctor is listening carefully to other aspects of the symptoms, such as whether they occur during exercise or when the patient is at rest. This additional information can lead the doctor to perform an EKG and reveal that the patient is actually having a heart attack, rather than asthma or allergies.

The following is another example of a doctor malpractice case. A pregnant patient tells their obstetrician that they are leaking amniotic fluid. If the obstetrician fails to act on this observation and does not bring the patient in for monitoring or induction of labor, the baby can sustain a massive infection of the brain and other devastating injuries that are associated with such infections. Even for a doctor, mistakes such as these are not as uncommon as you may think – and this is why a second opinion is always a good idea for protection against doctor negligence.

Even pediatricians can sometimes minimize their patient’s complaints of pain or other symptoms. For example, in one case, a child complained of headaches beginning at age three and continuing for many years. The child was also vomiting and drinking a lot of water. The pediatrician diagnosed allergies and gastro-esophageal reflux disease. The pediatrician failed to order follow up tests on the child’s brain to determine if there were any changes. It turns out that the child had a tumor on her pituitary gland in her brain that was not diagnosed for many years. An earlier diagnosis would have prevented the tumor from growing and damaging surrounding brain tissue. When we witness doctor mistakes such as these, we start to realize the need for both a ‘second opinion’ and for competent, experienced representation when seeking damages in a doctor malpractice case.

Medication errors caused by doctor negligence can also result in devastating injuries. When a doctor negligently fails to order the correct medicine, or fails to make sure that the patient and the patient’s pharmacy understand the nature of the medication prescribed, as well as the dosage and potential drug interactions, the consequences can be dire. For example, one patient was told by her pharmacist that the dose of a particular medication was too high, but the doctor, when asked about this concern, merely told the doctor to fill the prescription as written, without checking the dose. As a result, the patient sustained a life-threatening drug reaction.

Medical malpractice in the context of a doctor’s negligence in the interpretation of diagnostic tests such as x-rays, MRI, CT, mammogram or sonogram is also a common problem. Treating physicians and their patients rely on the skill of radiologists to interpret the results of these tests. The failure of the radiologist to see or report a significant finding on a radiology test can result in an incorrect impression that nothing is wrong, which can permit conditions such as cancer, stroke or other serious conditions to be left untreated until it is too late. This can be an example of a doctor malpractice case. In addition, a false positive finding on a radiological test can cause the patient to undergo unnecessary and often risky surgeries, procedures or other treatments.

If you or someone you know sustained an injury as a result of doctor negligence, Levy Konigsberg LLP has skilled medical malpractice attorneys who have represented a multitude of clients in doctor malpractice cases and can find out what happened and obtain the maximum possible compensation for the injuries.

ATTENTION: If you believe that you or your loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, you should seek legal advice of experienced medical malpractice attorneys to determine if you have a case. For a free consultation with the medical malpractice lawyers at Levy Konigsberg LLP please call our 24/7 toll-free hotline at (800) 315-3806 or submit an email inquiry.

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