How could “Laverne’s Law” change medical malpractice suits?
The effective treatment of many different forms of cancer largely depends upon early detection and intervention. That is why New York physicians and other medical professionals are trained on how to accurately detect the early symptoms of cancer, as well as implement the necessary treatments as quickly as possible. After all, failing to do so can have catastrophic consequences for cancer patients and their families. Many patients and patient advocates are raising awareness to the fact that while incidents of medical negligence are damaging enough, current state malpractice guidelines are hurting patients as well.
Many in Queens have probably seen the comedy sketches showing the skeletonized remains of people sitting in the waiting rooms at doctors' offices or in hospitals. Yet behind the humor lies a disturbing trend that's quickly becoming an issue in America's emergency rooms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that from 2003 to 2009, the average patient wait time in ERs across the country increased from 46.5 minutes to 58.1 minutes.
When it comes to diagnosing cancer, there is no room for error. Sadly, people in New York, NY, and across the United States continue to suffer as a result of misdiagnoses, which are more common than many people realize. At Futterman, Sirotkin & Seinfeld LLP, we know all too well how physically, emotionally and financially painful it often is for people who are in this position. As a result, we remain committed to working with victims of medical malpractice and try to help them receive what they deserve.
Even with advanced technology, a surprising number of cancers are not detected soon enough or diagnosed properly. Although the National Cancer Institute reports that mammograms do not detect roughly 20 percent of all breast cancer cases, some false-negatives are the result of a doctor's careless mistake and may constitute medical malpractice.
There are a variety of conditions that doctors around the country fail to properly diagnose in the emergency room. In fact, several recent studies show that misdiagnosis is a common problem. Some of the most commonly misdiagnosed conditions include heart attacks, cancer, pulmonary embolisms, strokes and appendicitis.
Pursuing claims against a medical physician or facility can be a long and involved process in New York. There are instances where the situation is complicated even further by the fact that the claimant may be forced to maintain a professional relationship with the party they are attempting to hold liable. In such cases, a person with legitimate medical malpractice concerns may be encouraged by others to withhold or withdraw their complaint.
Most people can to relate to how difficult it can be to describe the symptoms of an injury or illness to another person. Explaining how one feels is often frustrating and even embarrassing because things like pain are very subjective. It's for that reason that New York doctors and medical professionals are trained on how to effectively listen to their patients and make sound judgments regarding medical symptoms and diagnoses. Given current patient-care conditions, however, physician inattentiveness may result in serious medical errors.
Nothing can be more frustrating than to be given different medical diagnoses and finding out that each one is incorrect. When people walk into a New York City emergency room, they expect a doctor to find out what is wrong with them and provide the correct treatment. Yet, many patients are given the wrong diagnosis, leading to additional pain and suffering. Many times emergency room errors can be avoided if doctors would look at all the facts and follow through in planned testing.
When an emergency room makes a mistake in diagnosing a patient's problem, serious repercussions can occur such as severe illness and death. Many times, emergency room mistakes can be avoided if physicians and staff take a serious look at the patient's symptoms. It is furthermore the responsibility of the hospital to contact the patient's family if a misdiagnosis is discovered. This, unfortunately, did not occur in the case of a young boy who died in Queens last year.