You expect your doctors to take however long needed in order to provide you with the correct diagnosis and treatment in order to cure your illness or mend an injury. When that doesn't happen, you could end up suffering serious harm. In fact, your life may even be in jeopardy.
For example, if you end up in the intensive care unit with sepsis due to a burst appendix, it could turn out that you should never have ended up there. The odds may favor the fact that your doctor missed something or simply didn't take the time to look, in which case you may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim.
You knew something wasn't right
The problem with reaching a correct diagnosis is that many symptoms could indicate many illnesses. For instance, the symptoms of appendicitis include the following:
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Loss of appetite
- Achy, dull pain around your belly button
- Sharp pain around the lower right side of your abdomen
- Low fever
- Tenderness when pressure is released on the lower right side of your abdomen
The majority of these symptoms could be signs of an illness other than appendicitis. If your doctor fails to dig a little deeper, he or she may miss the cues that you have appendicitis. You could be sent home with the wrong diagnosis and a treatment that won't help you, and may even hurt you. In the meantime, your pain could increase, your abdomen could become rigid and swollen and you could experience pain on your right side when someone presses on your left side.
Based on what your doctor told you at your first appointment, you may or may not go back until after your appendix has already burst. At that point, the bacteria that caused the inflammation of your appendix in the first place now roams free inside your body. Without the proper medical attention, you could develop severe sepsis, which is a life-threatening condition. In any case, you will more than likely require substantial medical care and be out of work for some time.
You wonder how to make things right
Tracing your condition to a misdiagnosis the first time you went to your doctor could ultimately provide you with an avenue for compensation for your financial losses and other damages the medical error cost you. However, the process may not be quite as easy as it sounds. Fortunately, you don't have to go through the process alone.