Medical professionals, like other people, sometimes make mistakes, and these mistakes can have serious consequences for patients. Even minor illnesses can develop into a significant medical event if left untreated or misdiagnosed. If you have suffered an injury or serious illness because you were misdiagnosed or did not receive proper treatment, you should consult an attorney to determine the correct legal recourse.
What Constitutes Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is a legal term that covers cases of negligence by a health care professional in which a patient is harmed, suffers an injury or dies because of an action or lack of action. The term covers a variety of different errors that can occur in the treatment of patients, including diagnosis errors, surgical errors, medication errors or treatment errors. Although exact numbers are not known, statistical experts believe that up to 160,000 die from medical errors each year in the United States. In the case of colds and coughs, the medical professional may fail to give proper attention to diagnosing the illness, so that the patient becomes rapidly worse. This result may not have occurred if proper diagnosis and treatment had been given in a timely fashion.
Untreated Colds Or Coughs
Misdiagnosis of minor illnesses such as colds and coughs can be a particular problem for patients. What may seem like a cold may be a symptom of a much more serious medical condition. Coughs can be symptom of a number of health problems and should be thoroughly investigated for a correct diagnosis to prevent further medical complications. In many cases, laboratory tests can confirm or rule out infections related to colds and coughs. The ordering of these tests may be necessary to determine the right course of treatment.
Consequences of Untreated Colds and Coughs
Colds and coughs often develop into more serious illnesses, such as bronchitis and pneumonia. These problems can cause difficulty breathing, weakness, debilitation, poor appetite, high fever and other symptoms. Patients can go quickly from feeling poorly to severe illness. In many cases, patients must be hospitalized to properly diagnose secondary infections and administer proper treatment, such as IV antibiotics and oxygen. This consequence can cause additional medical risk to the patient, hospitalization expenses, loss of wages and other expenses that add up to significant financial burden for the patient. When medical professionals overlook minor illnesses that develop into severe medical crises, patients and their families should seek legal representation to compensate for these losses.
Particularly Vulnerable Patients
Some groups within the general population may be particularly vulnerable to problems that result from colds, coughs and other respiratory problems. These groups include infants, older people, people with compromised immune systems, those with chronic respiratory conditions and those with asthma reactions. Individuals in these groups should be particularly careful about receiving the correct diagnosis and treatment for mild illnesses. However, even patients without special health risks can suffer catastrophic medical problems from misdiagnosis or lack of treatment of minor illnesses. When these cases occur, families of the affected may feel it necessary to seek legal advice to determine how to proceed.
If You Have Been Injured
Your first consideration after a serious illness should be to regain your health to the fullest extent possible. If you suspect that a serious illness has resulted from misdiagnosis or improper treatment for you or a loved one, it is important to consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney to determine how to proceed with a legal case. The attorney will review the medical records in detail to learn the particulars of the case and whether negligence or error has occurred. If you have suffered serious illness as a result of inadequate treatment of colds or coughs, call the Jaklitsch Law Group for a detailed evaluation.
Call for a Free Consultation With a Maryland Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact us online or call 301-627-8700 for a free initial consultation to discuss your case.
From our offices in Upper Marlboro and Annapolis, we represent injured people throughout Prince George’s County, Anne Arundel County, southern Maryland and the Baltimore metropolitan area. If you cannot come to us, we can arrange to meet you in Maryland.