The CDC recently reported the death of an unnamed woman after she contracted rabies during an out-of-country visit. She was reportedly in India when she was bitten by a puppy on her right hand, but opted to treat herself. After a few weeks of being home, she began experiencing pain in her right arm and visited an urgent care center.
They diagnosed her with carpal tunnel and gave her pain medication. Two days later, she went to the hospital with trouble breathing, anxiety, difficulty swallowing, and insomnia. This time, she was diagnosed with having a panic attack and was given medication to treat it. She was discharged but returned the same evening. The next day, she was put on a ventilator after doctors detected signs of a severe brain infection.
Eventually, they discovered she had rabies, but they could not successfully treat her. She died soon thereafter.
At the Weitz Firm, we understand that there are times when a diagnosis will be missed, but we cannot help but wonder if the doctors at the urgent clinic and then the first ER visit performed a full medical history, complete with recent travel questions.
If you or a loved one believe you have suffered due to a misdiagnosis, contact us for a Philadelphia failure to diagnose attorney.
We know that researchers at Johns Hopkins say that diagnostic errors cause the most severe patient harm. They have also told us that medical mistakes are the number three killer in the US, causing more than 250,000 annual deaths. We want to point out that there are no solid numbers for how many people are injured and survive medical mistakes, but estimates put it near 2.5 to 5 million people.
Many of these mistakes would never have occurred if doctors had properly diagnosed their patient.
In the story above, Burrows went to an urgent clinic. It is likely they were overworked or understaffed, which is a major problem for both doctor’s offices and emergency rooms. In a busy environment, doctors and nurses can be rushed or fatigued and fail to recognize a patient’s symptoms. If they are so busy that they disregard taking a full medical history of the patient, they could miss key information needed for a diagnosis.
A correct and early diagnosis of a medical condition is vital for a person to have a successful outcome after medical treatment. A misdiagnosis can lead to a problem never being discovered or being discovered too late.
We know just how harmful a misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose can be. At the Weitz Firm, our qualified and experienced team will work to investigate your case so we can secure the compensation you deserve. This can include: