Misdiagnosis or Failure to Diagnose Pneumonia
By Younker Hyde Macfarlane on February 28, 2013
When patients turn to their doctors with symptoms of an illness, they have every right to expect that their complaints will be heard and taken seriously. For their part, physicians and other medical professionals owe their patients care of at least a competent standard. No medical professional is expected to be perfect, and some conditions are difficult to properly diagnose in their early stages, regardless of the experience and skill of the diagnosing physician. However, when medical professionals fail to diagnose or misdiagnose conditions that their reasonably competent peers would under the same circumstances, their failure falls under the umbrella of negligence. And when patients are harmed as a result of this negligence, the errant physician or other professional can be held liable for damages.
Timely diagnosis and treatment of a condition can represent the difference between life and death with many conditions, including pneumonia. Pneumonia and other infections of the lungs are the sixth most common cause of death in the United States. Tragically, in many cases, pneumonia turns deadly simply because treatment is not given in a timely manner. Often, this is the fault of a sufferer who fails to seek treatment, dismissing his or her symptoms as “nothing to worry about.” However, in some cases, sufferers do seek treatment, only to have their physicians misinterpret symptoms and overlook clear signposts to the disease.
The Salt Lake City medical malpractice attorneys of Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC are experts in medical malpractice litigation. They have successfully handled countless medical malpractice claims, helping victims and their families obtain the full measure of compensation to which they are entitled under the law. Our Salt Lake City pneumonia litigation experts know how to present the strongest cases possible, gathering necessary evidence and calling upon trusted professionals in the field of medicine to present compelling testimony.
If you or a member of your family has been harmed by a medical professional’s failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis of pneumonia, please contact our Salt Lake City medical malpractice lawyers today.
Symptoms of Pneumonia
The symptoms of pneumonia include difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, fever, chills, and a harsh, phlegmy cough. When such symptoms are present, physicians should both listen carefully to the lungs and order x-rays. Simply listening to the lungs is not sufficient to diagnosing pneumonia, especially in its earliest stages. Indeed, most skilled physicians will order x-rays with any complaint involving the lungs, presuming that pneumonia is a possibility until it can definitively be ruled out.
In its early stages, pneumonia is generally treatable, especially among patients who are otherwise in basically good health. When left untreated, however, pneumonia can lead to respiratory arrest and death.
At our law firm in Salt Lake City, medical negligence settlements are often reached before a case can proceed to trial. If we feel that a fair settlement cannot be reached, however, we will always try a case to verdict.
Learn More about Pneumonia Litigation
If you or a member of your family has suffered needlessly due to a trusted medical professional’s failure to diagnose pneumonia in a timely fashion, we encourage you to have your case evaluated by our experienced medical malpractice attorneys in Salt Lake City today.
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