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Failure to Diagnose Is a Leading Cause of Death Indicates Cleveland Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Mellino Law Firm

Failure to diagnose is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. It’s also referred to as misdiagnosis or wrong diagnosis, but, in these medical malpractice cases, doctors have reached the wrong conclusion about a disease and prescribed the wrong treatment.

“An estimated 10 percent to 20 percent of cases are misdiagnosed, which exceeds drug errors and surgery on the wrong patient or body part, both of which receive considerably more attention,” ncpa.org reported in 2013. “One report found that 28 percent of 583 diagnostic mistakes were life threatening or had resulted in death or permanent disability.”

The site went on to say that even though diagnostic mistakes prompt the most lawsuits, thousands go unreported.

According to a May 2013 article on Right Diagnosis, appendicitis, breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, and heart attack are the most “litigation-prone” misdiagnoses.

“As a medical malpractice attorney, there’s a number of things I would ask if you contacted me about your cancer misdiagnosis,” says Christopher Mellino, who practices in Cleveland. “The first thing I would need to know is what type of cancer you have and what the prognosis is.”

A failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis case also hinges on whether the cancer is fast or develops slowly, what symptoms a patient had early on that a doctor should have recognized, what treatment a patient would have been prescribed if the cancer had been caught sooner, and whether the current treatment is different from what a patient would have received if he or she had been diagnosed sooner.

Medical malpractice attorneys often consult experts to help prove their client’s case. The expert is usually an out-of-town doctor — or oncologist, in this case — because most doctors are reluctant to criticize a colleague, Mellino says. “But the more information you can get, the better for your case.”

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