Patients rely on their doctors for accurate health-related information. But doctors misdiagnose about 20 percent of serious illnesses. 80 percent out of 100 is a passing grade in a high school civics class. But it is a failing grade in this context.
Doctors have a fiduciary duty toward their patients. That’s the highest legal responsibility level in Missouri. So, what might be an accident in some situations is usually negligence in doctor-patient interactions.
Largely because of this high duty, a Kansas City personal injury attorney might be able to obtain substantial compensation in these cases. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Additional punitive damages might be available as well.
According to some estimates, the cancer misdiagnosis rate might be twice as high as the overall misdiagnosis rate. That’s because doctors have two chances to err.
Many doctors believe cancer is a genetic or lifestyle condition. So for example, nonsmokers never get lung cancer. Further complicating matters, many doctors do not run a complete battery of tests. So, diagnosis is based on personal experiences as opposed to medical evidence.
Furthermore, not all cancers are alike. Once again, lung cancer is a good example. Many doctors assume these patients have Non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). But if the patient has a more aggressive type of lung cancer, like mesothelioma, NSCLC treatments might do little good.
Frequently, doctors rely on signature symptoms to diagnose illnesses. Many heart disease patients do not have signature symptoms. For example, many female heart attack victims do not experience severe chest pains. So, doctors often ascribe their symptoms to another condition. These patients leave the hospital with damaged hearts, and the patients don’t even know it.
This autoimmune disease causes random pain in different parts of the body. Fibromyalgia often has mental and emotional effects as well, a condition commonly known as “fibro fog.”
Many doctors do not believe fibromyalgia is real. As a result, they often misdiagnose this condition as arthritis. Arthritis treatments do absolutely nothing for fibromyalgia. Thus, the patient gets progressively worse.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is an inflammatory condition which affects the lungs. Symptoms include trouble breathing, overall weakness, and chest tightness. These symptoms sound a lot like asthma and a number of other rather mild conditions. So, many COPD victims go to the doctor hoping to get better, and the doctor sends them away with a “take two and call me in the morning” attitude.
Vehicle collisions cause most of the head injuries in Missouri. Frequently, doctors ascribe symptoms like disorientation and headaches to shock from the accident. As a result, these victims do not get the treatment they need until their symptoms are more advanced and their injuries are harder to treat.
Furthermore, the brain often conceals its own injuries. So, many patients tell doctors they “feel fine” even though they have serious head injuries. That’s the reason some concussed athletes want their coaches to put them back in the game. They honestly “feel fine.”
Millions of Americans deal with Traumatic Brain Injuries. These wounds are permanent, because dead brain cells do not regenerate. However, extensive physical therapy can minimize the symptoms.
Medical misdiagnosis has serious repercussions for victims and families. For a free consultation with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer in Kansas City, contact the Krause and Kinsman Law Firm. Attorneys can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no money or insurance.
Adam Krause is a personal injury, mass tort, business litigation, and employment discrimination attorney who practices in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law and has been practicing law for several years now. Adam Krause has made a career of taking complicated litigation and presenting it in the most elementary terms for a jury of your peers to understand. Learn more about his experience here.