Misdiagnosing the Common FluJanuary 9, 2019
From aches and pains to the chills and high fever, the common flu can feel uncommonly miserable. Fortunately, today’s flu vaccines are effective against most strains of the flu, and new vaccines continue to be developed. However, there are several serious health conditions that cause flu-like symptoms, including strep throat, bacterial meningitis, and pneumonia, but are treated differently than the flu. Whereas the flu is a viral infection, these other conditions are bacterial infections, meaning they can be treated with antibiotics. If a healthcare professional misdiagnoses a bacterial infection as the flu, it can have devastating consequences if the patient does not receive the proper treatment, allowing the condition to worsen.
Tragic Examples of a Flu Misdiagnosis
A 12-year-old girl from California suffered fatal injuries last December after she was misdiagnosed as having the flu. After coming home from school not feeling well, her parents took her to an urgent care facility, where a doctor diagnosed her with the flu and sent her home. Her health did not improve over the next few days and she started to have trouble breathing. Her parents took her back to urgent care and the doctor on call told them that her oxygen levels were low and that she should be rushed to a nearby hospital. Shortly after arriving at the hospital, she went into cardiac arrest.
This tragic fatality could have been prevented if the girl’s condition was diagnosed correctly. The devastated parents found out that their daughter’s fatality was the result of septic shock caused by a strep infection in her blood. If the physician in charge of her care had requested blood work, he would have seen that it was a bacterial infection that is easily treated with antibiotics.
Another example of a flu misdiagnosis involved a patient from Arizona who was diagnosed with the flu. Unfortunately, she had necrotizing fasciitis, which is also known as the flesh-eating disease. Because the healthcare provider did not properly diagnose the condition, the condition worsened, and she lost 30 percent of her body tissue.
Considering the years of schooling and intense training that doctors and specialists must go through, you may wonder why these kinds of diagnostic errors occur. Researchers from Johns Hopkins University conducted a study that found several reasons why healthcare professionals make mistakes. Some are caused by negligence whereas others are the result of simple human error. Regardless of the reason, an experienced medical malpractice lawyer can review your case and recommend the best legal course of action.
Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Misdiagnosed Patients
If your healthcare professional misdiagnosed you with the flu, allowing your condition to worsen, you are urged to contact the Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton at your earliest convenience. We will work tirelessly to secure the maximum financial benefits you are entitled to, while ensuring that your legal rights are protected. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent medical malpractice victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.