Massachusetts health professionals attend years of schooling to ensure they are able to make prompt, accurate diagnoses and get patients the treatment they need. That is what they are paid for, after all, as a delay in accurately diagnosing an illness often means irreversible damage. In another state, for example, a group of doctors' failure to diagnose a child's illness tragically resulted in permanent brain damage.
A cancer diagnosis for many Massachusetts individuals and families may seem like one of the most upsetting and worrisome situations imaginable. How much worse, then, to find out months after the fact that a physician's inaccurate or missed cancer diagnosis resulted in a life-threatening delay in treatment? Such a delay in diagnosis of any illness can be dangerous and costly, but in cases of cancer, it can be especially devastating.
When Massachusetts doctors fail to promptly diagnose an illness, it may result in issues like a delayed recovery or unnecessary medical tests. A failure to diagnose cancer, though, often comes at a much higher cost: that of human life. When health care professionals do not accurately diagnose cancer in a timely manner, it can mean a delay in life-saving treatments until the cancer has progressed to such a stage that it is already too late.
While the severity of the consequences depends upon the condition, any delay or failure in the diagnosis of an illness or disease essentially translates into a failure to get patients the medical treatment they need in a timely fashion. Residents of Massachusetts who know someone who has suffered from cancer – or who have undergone cancer treatments themselves -- are likely aware that, when it comes to cancer, a few months can make a big difference. A failure to diagnose cancer can come with a heavy price for patients, in terms of both money and health.
When it comes to serious health conditions, sometimes a prompt diagnosis can make all the difference in the outcome. A delay or a failure to make an accurate diagnosis could, in some cases, be life threatening or even fatal. Every day, hundreds - if not thousands - of residents of Massachusetts rely on the professional medical training of health care professionals to ensure their well-being; sometimes, though, that faith in doctors is unfortunately misplaced, as appears to be the case in another state.
For most Massachusetts residents, the scenario sounds like something out of a bad dream: A patient is admitted to a hospital only to be discharged within hours then die less than two days later of the very illness for which he or she was originally seen at the hospital in the first place. Yet, allegedly, in another state, this is exactly what occurred. The patient's family is understandably unhappy about it and have filed a lawsuit alleging that the hospital's failure to diagnose or act when the patient clearly expressed suicidal thoughts resulted in his death.
When you are sick, you want your North Adams doctor to be able to identify what the problem is and get you the prescription or the procedure that gets you back on your feet. Pregnancy issues can be different, though. Although your OB/GYN runs tests and watches for common threats to you and your baby, most do not have the critical specialization that prepares them for identifying and dealing with certain high-risk complications. At Donovan O’Connor & Dodig, LLP, we have counseled many patients who suffered long-term health problems because of a missed diagnosis during pregnancy.
Timely, correct diagnosis of cancer is important for developing an effective treatment plan. Sometimes, this means seeking out additional medical expertise beyond your current Massachusetts health care provider. Here are a few signs that it is time to consult another physician.
When you visit your provider in Massachusetts because of troubling symptoms, he or she may determine a treatment plan for you. However, many doctors, physician assistants and nurse practitioners decide to refer their patients to a specialist. At Donovan O’Connor & Dodig, LLP, our team has advised many clients who discovered that the first opinion was not the one that resulted in the correct level of care.
A stroke is one condition that requires rapid medical attention, regardless of the severity of the symptoms, and Massachusetts patients trust their doctors to recognize the warning signs. However, recent evidence suggests that physicians may misdiagnose strokes in an alarming number of cases, particularly among younger patients, minorities and women.