Many medical conditions can be effectively treated. Those who receive these treatments can see their symptoms reduced or eliminated, their prognosis bettered, and even their condition cured. In most cases, though, the effectiveness of a treatment is dependent upon the accuracy of the diagnosis. Therefore, a failure to diagnosis, a delayed diagnosis, or a misdiagnosis can lead to significant harm, decreased chances of survival, and death.
Sadly, it appears that not all patients are treated equally when it comes to diagnosing medical conditions. For example, one study found that women are 50% more likely to be misdiagnosed after a heart attack. Some attribute this disparity to differing symptoms amongst the genders, with women often experiencing anxiety, fatigue, jaw pain, and nausea, whereas men typically experience chest pain.
The matter is having major implications, too. Each year, 14,000 women die in Indiana from cardiovascular disease, and that number is expected to continue to rise. This leaves a number of Hoosier families struggling to cope with the emotional and financial ramifications. This can be a difficult thing to do, especially when one’s untimely death can be attributed to medical error.
Determining medical error is a difficult thing to do, though. It often requires careful examination of medical records and acceptable treatment practices, and experts are often necessary to give an opinion as to whether the care that was provided to the victim was in line with acceptable standards. As challenging as that may sound, there are competent litigators who stand ready to build cases against negligent medical professionals and hospitals. Therefore, Hoosiers who believe they or a loved one have been harmed by medical malpractice should consider discussing the matter with an attorney who is experienced in this area of the law.