2012 proved to be a significant year for the battle against medical misdiagnosis, when the death of 12-year-old Rory Staunton due to missed medical symptoms resulted in an outcry for change. The untimely demise of the youngster led to significant legislation changes aimed to prevent such situations from happening ever again.
Misdiagnosis in itself is technically a preventable disaster, especially if the people involved are on the same page. Furthermore, 96% of the medical professionals surveyed by the firm QuantiaMD believe so, as well. Still, is there merit to these assumptions? Yes, there are—and frankly, doctors aren’t always the major culprits whenever the likes of Brooklyn medical malpractice attorneys are eventually called to the scene.
Prevention measures really must start with the patients themselves. For one, it is the patient’s obligation to know their medical history, and remind their attending physicians of such. Various studies have shown that family history is a somewhat better identifier of sicknesses than even the most in-depth tests like genetic testing. Patients must never assume that their doctors will remember everything they’ve been told weeks, months, or even years ago—they’re already pretty much preoccupied on their own and they could surely use a reminder.
It is also the patient’s job to be tell their doctors each and every symptom they feel in their body, and describe such in the clearest way possible. Relevant information is critical to a doctor’s diagnostic success—there are literally thousands of illnesses known, and most of them feature the same symptoms across many different conditions. Without relevant data from the patient, it’s practically impossible even for the best doctor there is to identify which sickness is at work.
Another patient obligation that can prevent misdiagnosis is to ask questions. To put it simply, a typical physician sees as many as 40 patients a day, spending 15 minutes or less with each one—the sheer number of information they need to process in their minds is overwhelming. Doctors are actually in desperate need of assistance from their patients in the form of the latter asking relevant questions; those that may provide clues as to what exactly is wrong.
As it turns out, not every doctor accused of medical malpractice is to blame. There are a number of factors which, without their personal intent, may have caused them to come up with wrong assumptions; factors which oftentimes come from patients themselves. Fortunately, physicians have a capable ally in an experienced medical malpractice lawyer from Brooklyn firms such as the Law Offices of Joseph Lichtenstein.
(Source: The Battle against Misdiagnosis, Wall Street Journal, August 7, 2014)