85-year old musician Neil Warner and his wife Naomi had started observing a decline in his abilities, as well as what appears to be signs of dementia: short-term memory loss and impaired balance, among others.
Fearing the worst, Naomi took her husband to a doctor and he was found to have normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH), a neurological disorder where there’s an excess of fluid in the brain. The worst part of it, however, was that the doctor told Naomi that since her husband’s condition is in its early stages, they should just return when Warner is already “falling down and drooling.”
The doctor’s dismissive nature could already be grounds for a lawsuit, especially given the fact that this particular condition can be easily treated and absolutely reversed. The advantage was even on their side because they were able to determine it early. However, the doctor’s failure to give them options for treatment could have caused Warner his quality of life had they not seek out a second opinion—and that is something that could very well stand in court for a medical malpractice case.
Simply brushing off symptoms or conditions could not only lead to a worsening of the patient’s condition, it may also lead to experienced New York City medical malpractice lawyers knocking on doctor’s doors. They would do well, therefore, to make thorough assessments of their patients, as required of them, especially because dementia shares certain symptoms with other conditions. Some of these are:
Vitamin B-12 deficiency – Found in animal products such as meat, poultry, eggs, and milk, vitamin B-12 is essential for the development of red and white blood cells. However, some people have a hard time absorbing vitamin B-12 as they age, leading to pernicious anemia. If left untreated, this condition can lead to nerve damage which causes mental decline.
Thyroid disorders – When the thyroid glands produce too much (hyperthyroidism) or too little (hypothyroidism) thyroid hormones, it can cause dementia-like symptoms. Thyroid disease is hard to detect until a blood test is administered, with roughly 30 million Americans aged 50 and up often caught unaware.
Depression – At times, depressed people also experience dementia-like symptoms like forgetfulness, disorientation, inattentiveness, and slowed reaction times. This is also known as “pseudodementia,” wherein the depressed mood begins before there is actual mental decline.
People who’ve experienced the same situation with their attending physicians shouldn’t put on hold an appointment with the likes of New York City medical malpractice attorneys from The Law Offices of Joseph Lichtenstein. A simple slip-up in diagnosis and referral can put very lives at stake.
(Source: Is It Really Alzheimer’s? Treatable Condition Mimics Symptoms of Dementia, Fox News, November 12, 2014)