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Failure to Diagnose

Over the course of human history, we have made remarkable advancements in the field of medicine. Many health conditions that were seen as a death sentence decades ago are now treatable, and in some cases, curable due to new innovative medical treatments and devices. Although these developments have saved countless lives, human judgement and expertise in the medical field is still one of the most important elements to finding the right treatment.

When a physician or specialist fails to accurately diagnose an illness in time, the end result can be devastating. People who have delayed diagnoses or receive improper treatment for the wrong condition tend to face serious health concerns. It’s common for the patient’s illness to progress as it’s unchecked, and in some cases the patient may develop additional health issues if they received medical treatment/surgery for the wrong condition.

If you or a loved one has incurred significant losses because of diagnostic negligence on the part of a healthcare professional, you may want to consider filing legal action against the responsible parties. Depending on your losses, you could be entitled to a monetary award.

Failure to Diagnose Lawyer, Des Moines IA | Medical Malpractice Claims

Society puts unprecedented trust in health care professionals to make the right decisions regarding our medical treatment. Unfortunately, some doctors and health care professionals are negligent in their duties and may fail to diagnose their patient in time because of it. If this has happened to you or a loved one and you’ve suffered from serious losses because of it, consider contacting personal injury lawyer Gregory Landry with McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C..

Gregory Landry is a Des Moines medical malpractice attorney with over three decades of practice under his belt. He has represented hundreds of people who have suffered due to negligent hospitals or health care professionals successfully and can do the same for you. Call McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. today at (515) 279-9700 to set up your first consultation with Gregory Landry.

McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. is located in West Des Moines, but we accept clients throughout the greater Polk County and Dallas County area including, but not limited to Polk City, Pleasant Hill, Perry, Adel, Waukee, Johnston, Bondurant, Minburn, Redfield, De Soto, and Alleman.

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Commonly Missed Medical Diagnoses

Physicians and specialists of all kinds must take every avenue possible to uncover a diagnosis when confronted with an ill or injured patient. Diagnostic exams, imaging, blood tests, and any other method used to determine a diagnosis should be utilized so the professional can have a comprehensive understanding of what is going on and make an accurate diagnosis.

It’s essentially impossible to effectively treat or manage an adverse health condition without an accurate diagnosis. If the patient is improperly diagnosed, then they may have to undergo treatment that will harm them rather than improve their health. As a consequence, the patient may suffer from unnecessary pain and pay expensive medical costs that were never needed.

Listed below are some commonly missed medical diagnoses by health care professionals.

  • Appendicitis
  • Bladder cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Oropharyngeal (oral) cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Pneumonia
  • Diabetes
  • Fetal distress
  • Heart attacks
  • Infections
  • Kidney cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Leukemias
  • Lung cancer
  • Melanoma
  • Meningitis
  • Prostate cancer
  • Pulmonary embolisms
  • Skin cancer
  • Thyroid cancer

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Can You Sue for Failure to Diagnose?

Failing to diagnose a person in a timely manner due to negligence is a form of medical malpractice. Medical malpractice is essentially an act or omission by a health care professional while treating a patient that deviates from accepted medical practices. If the health care professional’s medical malpractice results in injury or death, then they can be held liable.

In order to receive compensation for your losses, you’ll have to file a claim against the responsible party. However, before you start the process it’s imperative you secure a personal injury lawyer who has extensive experience with medical malpractice cases. These types of cases can be extremely complicated and may require prior knowledge of how the medical industry/profession works in order to be successful. That is why having a skilled medical malpractice lawyer on your side is essential.

In order to successfully obtain a monetary award for your damages, you and your attorney will have to prove the following in court.

  • You were a former patient of the defendant (the health care professional)
  • The defendant was treating an illness or injury you had or currently have
  • The defendant did not uphold their standard duty of care and failed to diagnose you in time or with the correct medical condition
  • The failure to diagnose led to harm or injury

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Examples of Failure to Diagnose

Physicians and specialists who fail to diagnose a medical condition in time can cause serious damage to their patient. Often the patient’s medical condition will worsen over time as it goes untreated. In some cases, the patient may even undergo treatment for the wrong health condition and suffer due to the side effects of the needless medication or surgery.

Listed below are some common negligent acts by a physician that may result in a misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose a condition in time.

  • Cancerous tumor deemed as benign
  • Delayed referrals to specialists
  • Failure to adequately respond to patient symptoms
  • Failure to use proper medical equipment for treatment of medical condition
  • Inadequate physical examination
  • Failure to order necessary testing
  • Failure to perform regular screenings
  • Failure to provide adequate follow-up care
  • Failure to recognize symptoms
  • Failure to respond to symptoms
  • Incorrect evaluation of patient’s family medical history or personal medical history; or
  • Misinterpretation of test results.

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Proving a Doctor-Patient Relationship

One of the biggest hurdles personal injury lawyers face is proving the doctor-patient relationship between both parties. The relationship between a healthcare professional and patient must be voluntary and made in agreement. An attorney can use medical records such as prescriptions and appointment summaries to prove this relationship. They may also utilize testimony from other staff in order to establish the doctor patient relationship in court.

In order to prove the doctor-patient relationship, you and your attorney must gather documents that prove the following:

  • You chose to be treated by the defendant
  • You submitted to examinations ordered by the defendant for the purpose of treating a medical condition, health problem, or to check up on your health
  • The treatment by the defendant was ongoing

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Additional Resources

Iowa Medical Malpractice Laws | Malpractice Center – Visit the official website for the Medical Malpractice Center, a group of online professionals with years of experience in the medical/legal industry whose goal is to educate the public on the risks of medical malpractice. Access the site to learn more about malpractice lawsuits, different types of malpractice, the statute of limitations for malpractice claims and more.

Medical Malpractice Claims | Annual Reports in Iowa – Visit the official website for the Iowa Insurance Division to learn more about the various types of malpractice claims filed in Iowa every year. Access the site to look at the reports by year dating back to 2006.


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Des Moines Medical Malpractice Lawyer | Delayed Diagnosis & Misdiagnosis

If a physician or other health care professional in Iowa has failed to diagnose you or your loved one’s medical condition, call McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C.. Gregory Landry has spent over 30 years of experience litigating on behalf of medical malpractice victims. He can work closely with you and medical experts to ensure the professionals who caused you harm or injury are held accountable.

Call McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. today at (515) 279-9700 to set up your first confidential consultation. McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. is located in West Des Moines, but we accept clients throughout all parts of Polk County and Dallas County.


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