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.
Chest pain is perhaps the most recognizable symptom of a heart attack, but sometimes it is minimal or not present at all. A patient suffering from one of these silent attacks may disregard other symptoms or not notice them. All heart attacks, diagnosed or undiagnosed, pose a serious threat, so it is crucial that Massachusetts physicians be aware of the risk of silent heart attacks.
You trust your Massachusetts doctor to provide the right diagnosis and the right treatment. Unfortunately, errors in diagnosis are common, and a missed diagnosis may mean that you do not get the treatment you need. Receiving unnecessary treatments after an incorrect diagnosis can be harmful, too. Here are a few steps to take if you have any doubts about the accuracy of your diagnosis.