Despite advancements in health-care technology, medical malpractice is a leading cause of death in the United States. According to ProPublica.org, the Office of the Inspector General revealed that negligent medical treatment contributed to at least 180,000 deaths in 2010, and new evidence suggests that the fatality rate is higher.
According to USAttorneys.com, medical malpractice can take several forms. One of the most common and deadly examples is misdiagnosis.
If you or a loved one was the victim of misdiagnosis or late diagnosis in Louisiana, contact the Bowling Law Firm. David A. Bowling is a wrongful death attorney in New Orleans who can assess your case to determine if you may be entitled to compensation. He has more than 30 years of trial experience.
Call (504) 586-5200 to schedule a consultation. Until then, read on to learn eight tips that can help you prevent misdiagnosis and late diagnosis:
1. Plan for the Consultation
Before visiting your doctor, gather your medical records including blood work, MRIs, X-rays and other related tests and documents. You may have to pay a fee to obtain these records from health-care facilities.
2. Write down Your Symptoms
Make a list of every symptom before your appointment. Many patients forget to mention important symptoms, and this can contribute to misdiagnosis.
3. Know Your Medical History
Research your family’s genetic tree to look for conditions and diseases that may apply to you. According to WebMD, genetics plays a role in many conditions including anxiety, depression, heart disease and even cancer.
4. Bring Your Medications and Supplements
It is important to bring your medications to the appointment. Many health problems are the direct results of prescription mistakes such as an incorrect dosage. Also, seeing your meds will help your doctor avoid prescribing a drug that will have adverse interactions with your current pharmaceuticals.
5. Do Not Make Assumptions about Your Condition
If you have pain in your ear, for example, do not assume that you have an ear infection. Let your physician evaluate your symptoms and deliver a diagnosis.
6. Be Specific about Your Symptoms
It is important to describe your symptoms in detail. If you suffer pain in the abdomen, for example, then tell your doctor if it is sharp, dull or shooting. Does it go away quickly? Does it occur when eating? The more information you provide, the more likely you will receive the right diagnosis.
7. Know What to Expect after the Diagnosis
Ask your doctor what you should expect from your diagnosis. For example, you should recover within a week from a chest infection, but if you notice neck pain or a high fever, then the diagnosis may not be correct. You should know what to expect.
8. Ask Questions
Do not hesitate to ask questions. In particular, you must ask the specialist which information or documents he or she needs to make the correct diagnosis. Be involved in the process and question every step of it.
If you were the victim of a health-care worker’s negligence in Louisiana, contact the Bowling Law Firm. David A. Bowling is a New Orleans medical malpractice lawyer who can help you navigate an unpredictable justice system. The Bowling Law Firm is an AV-rated* law Firm under Martindale-Hubbell’s peer review rating system. Call (504) 586-5200 to schedule a consultation.