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Diagnostic errors can be fatal to patients

Medical malpractice cases do not just involve actions taken by a physician or other medical professional that harm or kill a patient. When these professionals fail to diagnose a condition in a timely manner or they misdiagnoses it, the results can be just as serious.

Early and accurate diagnosis can mean the difference between life and death. It is key to being able to successfully treat many types of cancer, such as those involving the colon, breast, lung and skin. Even heart attacks are sometimes incorrectly diagnosed, especially among women, for whom the symptoms can be very different than those traditionally associated with a heart attack. Failure by a physician or other medical personnel to recognize that someone has suffered or is suffering a heart attack can be a deadly error.

While diagnostic tools have become increasingly sophisticated, we still have to rely on human beings to read them, understand them and act on the findings. Misreading X-rays, mammograms and other diagnostic tests can be fatal to a patient. Even misreading or failing to fully read something as simple as a patient's medical chart can lead to a misdiagnosis or lack of diagnosis.

Not all errors or negligence by medical professionals are grounds for a medical malpractice case. There are a number of factors unique to each situation that need to be considered. At Johnstone & Gabhart, LLP, our attorneys can review the facts of your case and help you determine the best course of action. For a free initial consultation with one of our Charleston medical malpractice attorneys, call or contact us online.

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