When we visit the doctor, we expect that he will properly diagnose the illness and provide the correct treatment. Unfortunately, this was not the case for a Chicago woman. The woman has filed a lawsuit in Cook County, alleging that her doctor wrongly diagnosed her condition, and as a result, underwent unnecessary hernia surgery. The lawsuit names Mercy Hospital and Medical Center in Chicago, Mercy IPA, and the doctor and is seeking a judgment of more than $50,000.
Misdiagnosis, and other medical mistakes, occurs with alarming frequency. According to the CDC, medical mistakes are now the third leading cause of death in the United States. Medication errors, failure to diagnose, improper treatment, surgical errors, and mistakes by doctors, are among the most common problems. In this instance, the woman was misdiagnosed with a hernia that required surgery. As it was determined later, this was the incorrect diagnosis and treatment.
There are a number of symptoms of a hernia. Some of the most common complaints include heartburn, abdominal pain, and bloating. However, these symptoms could also indicate various other medical issues as well. There are tests that should be completed in order to properly diagnose and treat a hernia. Tests may include an esophagram, endoscopy, blood tests, and manometry. Not all tests are required, but if there is any question about the diagnosis, additional testing is needed.
Hernias may be treated with medication, which is usually the first option. Drugs are available that prevent acid reflux so that the hernia is allowed to heal. When medications are unsuccessful, surgery may be necessary. It is important to note that surgery is not always the recommended treatment, and is only done in a small number of hernia cases.
Preventing Medical Mistakes
Medical mistakes are made by physicians, nurses, and other medical care professionals. While we want to trust our doctor, there are some things that patients can do to help reduce the risk of errors. One of the most important things that you can do is to get a second opinion. Write down all information that is provided so you can verify it later. If you don’t understand something, ask for clarification. When something does not make sense, say something about it. In this instance, the woman apparently did not get a second opinion. Had she done so, she may have been able to prevent her doctor’s inadequate care.
When a doctor makes a mistake or misdiagnoses a medical problem it is often considered negligence. Negligent actions of a doctor are known as medical malpractice. In this lawsuit case, the woman suffered a great deal of pain and suffering because of the surgery, which was not needed in the first place. She also incurred extensive medical and surgical bills, which were unnecessary. The woman is seeking recovery of these damages, which were caused directly by the doctor’s mistaken diagnosis and surgery. If you or a loved one suffered damages because of the negligence of a doctor, call the experienced legal team at Levin & Perconti to help get you the compensation you deserve.