Before the COVID-19 pandemic, patients in Hollywood who suffered from misdiagnosis may have pursued a medical malpractice claim. These claims were possible if a doctor treating a patient did not meet expected standards of care and the patient was injured as a result. In cases of cancer and other deadly illnesses, a patient could possibly suffer significant harm and even fatalities because of a misdiagnosis.
With COVID-19, unfortunately, misdiagnosis continues to be a concern. The symptoms of COVID-19 include high fever, coughing, and respiratory problems. However, the illness is new and understanding of this coronavirus is imperfect. Authorities have found that some patients have a rash or have atypical symptoms. Some have no symptoms at all. This has made diagnosis difficult.
Diagnosing COVID-19 correctly is crucial. Proper diagnosis is crucial, because while COVID-19 has flu-like symptoms, it is much more deadly. The seasonal flu has a fatality rate of 0.1% while this virus has an estimated fatality rate of 2-3%. Patients can deteriorate very quickly and can develop complications, such as pneumonia.
Proper diagnosis can ensure patients get the monitoring, oxygen, and treatment they need. While there is currently no cure for COVID-19, correct diagnosis can allow doctors to offer early supportive care and to attempt life-saving options if they are needed. Diagnosis is also important to contact trace and to alert everyone who may have been exposed to the coronavirus through the patient.
Have You Been Diagnosed in Hollywood?
If you live in South Florida and have been misdiagnosed after suspecting COVID-19 or if you have lost a loved one to COVID-19 after a misdiagnosis, you may wonder whether you have a claim. Medical malpractice and misdiagnosis claims are possible, but they are difficult because:
Regular standards of care have shifted. Since COVID-19 is so new, there isn’t an “expected” course of treatment or diagnosis process and the way patients are treated and diagnosed changes regularly as understanding of the virus shifts.
It will be harder to prove a doctor did not act as another doctor might have. Since the standards of care are changing, it may be harder to find a medical expert who can testify about the exact procedure to follow.
Emergency rooms are full. In locations with outbreaks, emergency rooms are full and atypical medical measures are being taken to help patients. As a result of the overcrowding, defense attorneys can argue that a doctor simply made a mistake due to the chaos or cannot be held up to a specific standard of care in such circumstances.
It may be still possible to file a claim, but it will be challenging. You will need a qualified medical malpractice attorney. Contact Flaxman Law Group at 1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN) for a free consultation to discuss your legal options with a misdiagnosis attorney at our Miami, Hollywood, or Homestead offices. Our legal team has helped thousands of plaintiffs recover tens of millions of dollars, so contact us today to review your case. We currently offer online and virtual consultations to reduce your risk.