Do I have a case if my husband was misdiagnosed and almost died?

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Do I have a case if my husband was misdiagnosed and almost died?

In the early morning hours my husband was seen at the local ER with a severe headache. He was diagnosed with an earache. They gave him one antibiotic pill and a shot of demerol and sent him home. However 3 hours later he was unresponsive and I called an ambulance. He was transported to a larger area hospital. There he was diagnosed with a severe case of spinal meningitis. He stayed almost 2 weeks in CCU. He had seizures because of his illness which in turn effected his right side. He now suffers from mental confusion and right side weakness.

Asked on April 19, 2012 under Malpractice Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You may have a claim--the issue is whether the misdiagnosis was reasonable or not. The law does not expect or require doctors, hospitals, and other medical care providers to be perfect; medicine is still more of an art than a science, and sometimes the care providers do everything right but the patient still suffers. The issue is whether the medical personnel provided care that met accepted standards for medical care; that is, did they run the tests that they should have, under the circumstances? Was the conclusion they came to reasonable, given the symptoms? Were they adequately trained and using the right equipment? Etc.

If the medical personnel did what was reasonably expected of them, with the accepted level of skill or care, then there most likely was no malpractice. But if they were careless; if they ignored warning signs or didn't run tests normally considered standard or prudent; if they were in a hurry and didn't pay as much attention as they should--if anything like that happened, and they missed a diagnosis they should have made, that could be malpractice.

It can be difficult for the lay person to determine if and when there is malpractice. A good idea would be to meet with experienced medical malpractice counsel; a lawyer who practices in this area can review all the facts in detail and advise you as whether you may have a case or not. If malpractice was committed, you can potentially recover all actual and projected future medical costs and lost wages, plus pain and suffering--it could be a considerable sum of money.


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