A woman was recently awarded $16 million after she was wrongly diagnosed with cancer. Jennifer Rufer was misdiagnosed with cancer when she was 22 years old after a pregnancy test revealed high levels of HCG. She underwent a painful and exhausting round of chemotherapy as well as a hysterectomy in order to treat the cancer that was not actually in her body. Rufer sued both the hospital that misdiagnosed her and the laboratory that created the pregnancy test which led to the misdiagnoses.
Misdiagnoses can have painful, even fatal, consequences. As seen in the story above, Rufer underwent both the physical drain of surgery and chemotherapy as well as the emotional pain of losing the ability to have children. While this case occurred far from Indiana, this kind of incident can occur anywhere, even in Evansville. Misdiagnoses can have many unfortunate consequences including:
- The developing of new symptoms
- Blood level fluctuation
- Unpleasant side effects caused by unnecessary medication
- Rashes or allergies
- Nerve damage
- Unnecessary surgery and recovery
- A worsening of actual present condition
- Increased stress
These symptoms are all unpleasant, and the most unfortunate part in these cases is they are also unnecessary. This type of pain should not be taken lightly, as a misdiagnosis is a form of medical negligence.
Different Types of Misdiagnosis
There are a few different claims that one can make in a case of misdiagnosis:
Wrong Treatment: Being treated for a disease you do not have is something no one should have to go through. This is commonly seen with diseases like epilepsy and syncope due to the similarity of symptoms in the two conditions. When you treat a disease with the treatment for another disease, the consequences can be disastrous.
Wrong Medicine or Overdose: When dealing with drugs of any kind, it is essential that the doses and types of drugs are fitting for the illness. Obviously, if a person is being treated for the wrong illnesses, they are likely also being treated with the wrong drugs or dosage. Consuming drugs for a condition which has not actually developed could pose severe side effects.
Wrong Surgery: Many doctors choose to save surgery as a last option because of the stress it tends to pose on the human body. With that said, if a patient has a wrong or unnecessary surgery, the stress on the body can be severe and cause far more symptoms and illness than the patient had going in.
Delay of Correct Treatment: While the doctor focuses on treating the wrong illness, the treatment of the actual illness will be postponed, and this can cause new issues as symptoms are likely to continue getting worse if left untreated.
Wrong Analysis of Test Results: Many times the issue will not be with the test, as seen in the example above, but in the people reading it. Doctors are trained in specific areas to be able to understand the medical jargon of all of the tests. However, at times, doctors and medical staff may still misread the tests, and this can lead to a misdiagnosis.
Help from an Evansville Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you have experienced any of the misdiagnoses listed above, you may be a victim of medical malpractice, and you could be entitled to compensation. Call Hensley Legal Group today for a free consultation, or contact us online.