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When we go to the doctor’s office, we expect the doctor to review our medical history and inquire into any symptoms, complaints and pre-existing conditions. Without considering the patient’s medical history, a physician cannot be expected to treat his or her patient effectively.

“In fact, treating a patient while ignoring the patient’s medical history can cause more harm than good, which is especially true for doctors who treat their new patient for the first time,” says our Philadelphia medical malpractice attorney at The Weitz Firm, LLC.

What does ‘medical history’ mean?

Prior to treating a new patient, a healthcare provider has a duty to spend sufficient time with that patient to develop a comprehensive and full medical history, which must contain all of the following types of relevant information:

  • Identifying information about the patient (name, age, height, weight, etc.)
  • The current complaints about health problems that prompted the patient to visit the doctor
  • How long the current health problem has lasted
  • The history of the patient’s past relevant or related medical conditions
  • The patient’s medical history, including major illnesses and injuries, past surgeries, etc.
  • The history of similar or related illnesses in the patient’s family
  • The patient’s social history (marital status, number of children, household arrangement, occupation, etc.)
  • The patient’s habits and lifestyle if relevant to the patient’s current health issue (level of physical activity, smoking, drinking, libido, etc.)
  • The patient’s current and past medication usage, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, natural remedies, medical marijuana, etc. and
  • Allergies to food, medication, etc

Failure to consider medical history is medical malpractice

As you can see, a doctor needs to know quite a few facts about his or her patient prior to beginning treatment or diagnosing the patient in order to ensure that the diagnosis is as an accurate as it can be and that the treatment provided is efficient, beneficial, and necessary.

Our experienced failure to consider medical history attorney Philadelphia, who specializes in medical malpractice cases filed against doctors for ignoring patients’ medical history, explains that failure to consider the patient’s medical history can cause serious harm to the patient and may even result in death.

For example, let’s imagine the following scenario. A patient has an infection that requires medical treatment involving antibiotics. However, the patient is allergic to a certain type of antibiotics, which is evident from the patient’s medical history. Unfortunately, the doctor fails to consider the patient’s medical history and does not inquire about past antibiotic treatments and allergies. As a result, the patient suffers a severe allergic reaction.

How to prove that a doctor ignored patient’s medical history?

As you can imagine, proving that your doctor ignored your medical history, which subsequently resulted in avoidable injury or illness, can be extremely difficult. But presenting evidence proving that the doctor failed to consider your medical history is required in order to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor.

Do keep in mind, however, that different types of doctors need a different medical history to make an accurate and timely diagnosis, order appropriate diagnostic tests, and, as a result, provide efficient and beneficial medical treatment with little to no risk of complications and negative consequences.

You may want to speak to a medical malpractice lawyer in order to determine whether or not the doctor’s failure to consider your medical history can amount to negligence and medical malpractice. Contact The Weitz Firm, LLC, to schedule a free consultation today. Call our offices at 267-587-6240.

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