John Hopkins released a study in April revealing that the largest portion of legal payouts among all medical malpractice claims occur from misdiagnosis. This means cases such as Claudialee Gomez-Nicanor are becoming more and more common.
Claudialee, a six year old, landed in the hospital after a night of nausea and fatigue. Her blood sugar was five times the normal limit but her doctor did not provide her with the insulin that her body needed to process the glucose. The doctor, pediatric endocrinologist Arlene Mercado, diagnosed her with type 2 diabetes, rather than type 1. With Claudialee needing type 1 treatment, she later died.
Type 1 diabetes is the more urgent of the two while type 2 can be fixed through diet, exercise and medication. Since type 2 diabetes is extremely rare in kids under 10 years old, the jury found Mercado 100% liable for Claudialee’s death.
Health care policy and access is a popular topic in current news and politics, but accurate diagnosis is a somewhat quiet, and very critical, issue.
Misdiagnosis can range from missing a fracture in a hand x-ray to diagnosing a cancerous lump as non-cancerous.
However, hospitals are not blind to this critical issue as some are trying new methods, according to a Wall Street Journal report from 2006.
Some doctors are turning to computer support systems to help avoid “premature closure,” which is to rule out other possibilities because one diagnosis explains all of the symptoms.
Even with updated methods to strengthen accurate diagnosis, mistakes will unfortunately happen.
Time gaps between the doctor’s mistake and the patient’s decline can make these malpractice cases lengthy and complicated, and other times the case can be easy for the jurors. For this reason, you should not hesitate to speak with an attorney about your situation and find out what can be done.
If you or a loved one have seen a doctor for medical care and have been injured by his or her negligent or irresponsible behavior, it might feel like you have a mountain to climb to receive the compensation you deserve. Don’t climb the mountain alone though.
Contact Darrell Castle & Associates (901) 327-2100 and an experienced Memphis medical malpractice lawyer will be glad to discuss your case at no charge.