A failure to diagnose or a wrong diagnosis can affect people’s lives in a multitude of negative ways. One such case went beyond a simple misdiagnosis and resulted in a child being taken away from her biological mother.
According to news reports, the mother brought her newborn to the hospital because the child was crying and her arm hung limp. The diagnosis was that the child had 21 fractures in her arm and medical providers believed that these injuries stemmed from abuse. The hospital contacted Child Protective Services, which interviewed the mother and her then-boyfriend. Ultimately, CPS took the child away from the mother. The woman asserted that she had never harmed the baby, but she was jailed, as was her boyfriend. She spent two months incarcerated; he spent two-and-a-half years. The authorities gave custody of the child to her biological father in the interim.
After an investigation, the authorities found that the baby had been misdiagnosed. The weakness in the child’s arm was the result of rickets, a condition that can lead to softening of the bones. The mother eventually won back shared custody of her child, but the whole process took seven years.
A doctor at the University of Texas told reporters that everyone can expect a misdiagnosis at least once in their lifetime. According to him, there are three ways in which this happens: the diagnosis is completely wrong; it is a delayed diagnosis; or it is not properly explained to the patient. A lack of coordination between medical professionals is frequently viewed as an issue in misdiagnoses.
Since medical mistakes crop up so frequently and many times they are not even caught, people who believe that there has been a medical mistake of any kind need to understand their rights. Speaking to a legal professional who has experience in pursuing cases related to doctor errors can help to seek compensation through litigation.
Source: kens5.com, “The wrong diagnosis: What happens when doctors are wrong?,” Irene Cruz, March 27, 2017