When Is Pneumonia Misdiagnosis Considered Medical Negligence?

A misdiagnosis of a medical condition such as pneumonia can lead to a medical negligence case when the patient suffers injury because the doctor diagnosed the person with something else or did not diagnose the correct condition until too late. The person usually will suffer from an incorrect treatment option, delayed medication or damage from the actual condition.

Not Catching the Symptoms

There are times when doctors are working too quickly with too many patients and may not see all the symptoms a person will exhibit while at the facility. This is when the professional can engage in medical negligence because noticing all the symptoms that occur is often the only way to correctly diagnose a person’s condition. For pneumonia, this is critical to help prevent additional damage to the body. This medical illness can harm the lungs, throat and mouth. The individual can even die if he or she has a more severe case that does not receive the proper treatment.

Severe Injuries

When someone does not receive the correct diagnosis for his or her condition, it can lead
to severe or life-threatening injuries. These harsh instances often occur when the pneumonia is a serious condition or has symptoms that can harm the patient if he or she does not receive proper treatment. Observing the symptoms is important. However, the treatment given is also critical to prevent further damage to the body, ensuring the medication is the correct dosage and the right pills or liquids and to help avoid further internal harm. It is in cases where misdiagnosis occurs that the patient could suffer for days or weeks.

The Misdiagnosed Pneumonia

Most misdiagnoses are because of similar symptoms of other conditions. The illness of pneumonia commonly appears as other conditions. The infection affects the lungs and can appear as many other issues that involve bacteria, viruses and fungi. Because it is commonly misdiagnosed, the doctor may not engage in negligence by not catching that the person has pneumonia rather than bronchitis or an acute failure in the respiratory system. Some signs may even appear as those connected to heart attacks. Some doctors may believe the person has lung cancer or even measles.

More Serious Conditions

When there are symptoms similar to sepsis or the flue, the doctor may treat more or less aggressively than the condition of pneumonia requires. The person may exhibit signs of strep throat or a sinus infection. Because the doctor believes the condition is more serious, he or she may prescribe medication or a treatment that is stronger than the person needs at the time. This is usually not a problem unless it causes injury to the patient. Even with the injury, the person may not have a valid case unless the doctor engaged in negligence or was incompetent.

The Medical Negligence Claim

For a valid claim of medical negligence, the individual will usually need a lawyer and proof of negligence. A breach in the duty of care owed to a patient can provide proof, but the breach must also lead to and become the cause of the injury inflicted. This requires some type of negligent behavior that leads to harm such as the misdiagnosis and use of treatment not necessary for pneumonia. The breach and injury must have evidence of causation for a negligence claim to hold true in the courtroom. The damage caused by the doctor occurs because he or she did not diagnose the matter correctly. A lack of training, understanding or recognizing the symptoms can also impact the case.

Many cases of negligence fail because the plaintiff suffered an injury but the doctor followed all necessary guidelines, protocols and standards with the facility and based on the symptoms the person exhibited. It is the job of the lawyer to help prove the claim valid and present an argument against the hospital or doctor involved in negligence or incompetence. Most cases do not include intentional harm, which requires the lawyer to reveal the specific negligent behavior. This is often difficult if everything appears in order with all protocols followed and the doctor even seeking a second opinion because the symptoms are confusing.

Legal Support for the Misdiagnosis of Pneumonia in Medical Negligence

When the victim has enough evidence to pursue a case, it is time to hire a lawyer. The legal professional will investigate the matter and negotiate with the insurance carrier when it is possible. This process involves conferences with the insurance company and explaining the same information what would proceed through the court.

Provided by HG.org

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication at the time it was written. It is not intended to provide legal advice or suggest a guaranteed outcome as individual situations will differ and the law may have changed since publication. Readers considering legal action should consult with an experienced lawyer to understand current laws and.how they may affect a case.

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