Philadelphia Misdiagnosis Lawyer
Illnesses and injuries are frightening and stressful experiences, but a correct diagnosis does much to alleviate the physical and emotional turmoil associated with them. Unfortunately, misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis often prevent patients from getting the treatment they need. Some patients go for years without a correct diagnosis for serious conditions, leaving them in vulnerable situations.
If you have been the victim of a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, the team at Ciccarelli Law Offices of West Chester, Pennsylvania can provide the information you need to win your case and start on the road to physical and emotional wellness.
How Common are Misdiagnoses?
Misdiagnoses and delayed diagnoses are much more common than most people think. According to the National Center for Policy Analysis and Kaiser Health News, an estimated 10-20% of medical cases are misdiagnosed each year. Additionally, about 28% of diagnostic errors in one study were found to be life threatening or the cause of permanent, life-altering disabilities.
Misdiagnosis is not a new problem, either. A Harvard University study done in 1991 found that misdiagnoses and delayed diagnoses were responsible for 14% of all “adverse events,” including fatalities, in the medical community. Three quarters of the cases within that 14% involved errors that were the result of physician negligence. Over 20 years later, misdiagnosis remains the main cause of malpractice litigations, although many cases go unreported.
Commonly Misdiagnosed Diseases
Some diseases and conditions are more easily misdiagnosed than others. In many cases this is because the condition is rare, or because its symptoms masquerade as signs of more common ailments. According to AARP The Magazine, some of these diseases include:
- Lupus: Lupus often mimics chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, as well as rheumatoid arthritis. A correct diagnosis necessitates a complete blood count, as lupus patients often show signs of anemia. Chest X-rays are also needed; pleurisy and pneumonia may be present.
- Lyme disease: This is probably one of the most insidious misdiagnosed diseases, because its symptoms are both myriad and potentially debilitating. In fact, some physicians question whether Lyme exists or are reluctant to acknowledge it, because although the infection can be traced back to a tick bite, the telltale marking of one is not always visible. Lyme mimics everything from the flu to meningitis, and some patients experience mood changes that are misdiagnosed as depression.
- Celiac disease: Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder, and the main characteristic is the inability to digest gluten. Doctors often find Celiac mimics irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, and other gastrointestinal disorders. Many blood tests for this disease come up negative, delaying diagnosis. Small intestine biopsies and genetic tests are better diagnostic tools, but these can be expensive, and the results can take longer to process. As a result, some physicians do not run these tests until all other possibilities have been exhausted, exacerbating patients’ illness.
Additionally, many other serious diseases are misdiagnosed every day. Ciccarelli Law Offices have encountered plenty of delayed diagnoses or misdiagnoses of various cancers, which can result in fatalities. In fact, our legal team is well versed in medical malpractice and wrongful death suits.
Can I Win My Misdiagnosis Case?
Our Philadelphia personal injury attorneys at Ciccarelli Law Offices, can win your misdiagnosis case. Typically, we work on cases involving failure to diagnose, medical and surgical mistakes, and failure to monitor post-surgical treatment properly. We typically try your case rather than settling it out of court, increasing the chances you will receive monetary compensation. Additionally, Ciccarelli Law Offices retains a team of medical experts who can help you fight back against a negligent medical provider and their insurance company. If you have been the victim of misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, or have sustained injuries or disabilities due to medical mistakes, you may contact us for a consultation.