Failure to Treat or Stabilize in a Hospital Setting
A physician or hospital failing to properly treat or stabilize a medical condition is a common medical error. When an individual seeks treatment, the hospital physician will typically make a differential diagnosis. This is the systematic way that a physician utilizes to identify the cause of the disease or injury.
Before any medical condition can be properly treated, it must be correctly identified. In certain situations, the doctor or hospital staff does not take a complete history or is too quick in reaching a diagnosis, and the true condition is not diagnosed. As a result, the correct course of treatment is not implemented. Mistakes that are quickly recognized may have little or no harm. Errors can delay appropriate treatment by hours or even days and can have serious consequences. Failure to diagnose and treat a stroke, heart failure, or internal bleeding can have dire consequences, resulting in further severe damage or even death.
Medical care involves multiple variables, such as patients with the same condition having different sets of symptoms. Conditions of vastly differing severity can present with similar symptoms. That is why it is vital for a treating physician or medical professional in a hospital setting to address or rule out the more serious condition or disease first. If the treatment prescribed is not efficiently improving or containing the illness then the course of treatment must be adjusted.
A medical professional could argue that the failure to stabilize or effectively treat the patient would make no difference in the outcome. In cases where there is disagreement about the efficacy of a treatment or the progression of a condition, a thorough review of medical records can show inconsistencies in staff information, such as nursing staff documentation conflicting with physician diagnosis. In a hospital, there are multiple professionals treating patients, making the possibility of communication errors that lead to errors in treatment for the patient.
Even after a multitude of consultations at various clinics or hospitals, a patient may continue to go untreated. The patient complaint may have been ignored or the diagnosing physician may not have believed the symptoms worthy of testing.
Failing to diagnose or treat a condition in a timely fashion potentially subjects a patient to many more complications. Recovery from life-threatening illnesses requires timely treatment to be successful. Even a few hours of missed treatment can make the difference between life and death. Emergency room staff failing to stabilize or diagnose chest pain could result in a heart attack or stroke, causing debilitating injury or even death.
In other instances, a failure to treat or stabilize may not result in injury or death but in financial damage. Not promptly treating a medical condition can increase the propensity for ongoing illness. These situations impact the patient in lost wages and recuperation time adversely affects one earning an income.
If you feel that you or a loved one has been harmed due to a hospital or physician failing to treat or stabilize a condition, you may be eligible for damages. Call the Sweeney Law Firm and let our experts review the facts. You may have a medical malpractice case. If we decide to accept your case, we work on a contingency fee basis, meaning there is no fee for representation unless there is a settlement or fund recovery made on your behalf.