There are thousands of medical laboratories around the country, many of them in-house at hospitals and medical centers, and patients rely on their expertise and accuracy in times of need. Laboratory errors are downright unacceptable. Medical labs serve a crucial purpose and receiving proper diagnostic tests can be the difference between an accurate, timely diagnosis and a delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis.
Regardless of whether it is a hospital lab or a third-party outsourced lab like Quest or LabCorp, medical professionals and hospitals have a duty to provide correct information to patients. Lab technicians and physicians work together to diagnose diseases and illnesses, prescribe medications, and plan a treatment for individuals.
When laboratory malpractice and diagnostic errors lead to a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, the medical center and lab can be held accountable for the damages they have caused.
Joe Lyon is a Medical Malpractice Attorney and Hospital Error Lawyer reviewing radiology and laboratory malpractice for plaintiffs nationwide.
A timely and proper diagnosis is critical so patients can quickly begin a treatment and get back to full health. But an accurate diagnosis can often only be confirmed by the results of X-rays, biopsies, blood samples and other diagnostic testing. Laboratory errors can include mislabeling samples, losing test results, and a failure to accurately interpret and communicate test results to doctors and patients.
Medical diagnosis for many serious illnesses and conditions like cancer involve a wide range of testing. Hospitals have the ability to treat patients with impressive modern medical advances, but when labs and medical staff make mistakes, patients may suffer the consequences.
Diagnostic errors and laboratory malpractice can easily result in wrong, delayed or missed diagnosis. Diagnostic testing mistakes and failure to diagnose patients are a leading cause of medical malpractice lawsuits, and perhaps only second to surgical errors in the number of patients harmed by the negligence.
Radiologists are held in high regard in any medical team. The specialists are tasked with interpreting radiographs like X-rays and MRIs to determine a patient’s condition. But when a doctor misses something obviously seen on film, a patient may not be diagnosed correctly.
Missed cancer diagnosis is relatively common, and often the result of radiology malpractice. Doctors do make mistakes, and though they may not intentionally make a professional error, they may be held responsible in medical malpractice litigation.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of laboratory malpractice, it is important to speak to an experienced medical malpractice attorney who understands this complex area of the law. The Lyon Firm works with medical experts who can look into each unique course of events and determine the root cause of injury or death.
A misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis case involves a patient who is told they do not have a disease when they in fact do. Failure to diagnose lawsuits can name doctors, hospitals and lab technicians as defendants. A lab error or misreading a test result can result in serious injury and death. Almost every health condition is better treated early and early diagnosis can save lives.
Most laboratory errors are due to pre-analytical factors, poor communication, and poorly designed processes. Examples of laboratory malpractice include:
Lab mistakes can include false positive tests or false negatives. Both errors can cause harm to a patient, as a treatment may be unnecessary or a delayed treatment may lead to a wrongful death. Medical malpractice cases arise when a duty of care is not met by a medical professional, and an injury or death results.
Medical labs have strict protocols, though mistakes are still made on a regular basis. Approximately 250,000 people die each year as a result of medical errors, many of which involve a failure to diagnose a patient.
When management or individuals fail to provide a sufficient level of care, victims may seek legal recourse and file suit against the negligent parties. Medical malpractice lawsuits improve the quality of healthcare by holding physicians and hospitals responsible when they fall below a professional standard of care.
Hospitals, medical staff, nurses and doctors are responsible for providing proper patient care. When management or individuals fail to provide a sufficient level of care, victims may seek legal recourse and file suit against the negligent parties.
Without medical malpractice laws, medical mistakes would go without consequence, patients would be uncompensated for preventable injuries, and medical providers would have less incentive to improve the medical system to prevent future injuries.
Despite the reports discussed above, frivolous claims brought by medical malpractice attorneys and runaway juries have been blamed as causing a medical crisis. There is no medical malpractice crisis, it is simply propaganda created by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and large insurance companies to pollute the American jury pool and change the law in a manner that is favorable to them and adverse to the average American. And sadly, it has worked.
Currently, 90 percent of juries side with the physician over the patient at trial. As a result, insurance companies are bolder than ever and refuse at times to settle even the most meritorious of cases knowing that the chances of the patient finding a fair and impartial jury is extremely low, especially in more conservative parties of the country such as Hamilton County, Ohio.
The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 required that conditions be identified that (a) are costly and occur at high rates, (b) are assigned as cases to the Diagnosis-Related Group, and (c) could have ultimately been prevented with appropriate care. These hospital-acquired conditions occur as negligence on the part of hospital staff and often result in a multitude of medical malpractice lawsuits.
Conditions that meet the three requirements for identification:
Many hospitals and physicians are taking proactive approaches to resolve viable medical malpractice claims by approaching patients who do not have legal counsel. The “family meeting” presentation will include deterring patients from seeking legal counsel. This is a very concerning development in the course of medical liability and risk management.
We strongly advise patients not to engage in “family meeting” settlement negotiations without an experienced Cincinnati medical malpractice lawyer present. Hospitals and physicians have lawyers who are specialized in medical malpractice claims advising them on how to approach the case, and it is only fair that the patient is afforded the same benefit of qualified counsel.
The “family meeting” practice of settling hospital negligence cases without an attorney does not benefit the patient in most cases, but almost always benefits the negligent hospital.
Do not be deterred by a hospital representative implying that the case will be compromised if you seek counsel. While attorney fees will need to be paid, those costs should not be a deterrent. The Lyon Firm adopts a lower contingency fee structure and offers hourly rates for cases that can be resolved without litigation.
If the parties wish to resolve the matter, having qualified counsel on both sides is beneficial to the process. The goal should be a settlement where both parties are satisfied, not a case where the hospital pays substantially less than the fair value of the claim.
There are numerous issues that need to be considered before settling a medical malpractice case, and you should know what the fair value of the claim is before accepting a settlement.
The hospital knows the fair value having been involved in other cases. You as the patient should work with counsel who has successfully worked on other cases and can advise on the appropriate risk of future litigation and settlement value.
If a hospital is approaching you or a family member about a settlement without a Cincinnati Medical Malpractice lawyer, please call (800) 513-2403 for a free consultation.
Our Firm will help you find the answers. The Firm has the experience, resources and dedication to take on difficult and emotional cases and help our clients obtain the justice for the wrong they have suffered.
Experience: Joe Lyon is an experienced Cincinnati Medical Malpractice Lawyer. The Lyon Firm has 17 years of experience and success representing individuals and plaintiffs in all fifty states, and in a variety of complex civil litigation matters. Medical malpractice lawsuits can be complex and require industry experts to determine the root cause of an accident or injury. Mr. Lyon has worked with experts nationwide to assist individuals understand why an injury occurred and what can be done to improve their lives in the future. Some cases may go to a jury trial, though many others can be settled out of court.
Resources/Dedication: Mr. Lyon has worked with experts in the fields of accident reconstruction, biomechanics, epidemiology, metallurgy, pharmacology, toxicology, human factors, workplace safety, life care planning, economics, and virtually every medical discipline in successfully representing Plaintiffs across numerous areas of law. The Lyon Firm is dedicated to building the strongest cases possible for clients and their critical interests.
Results: Mr. Lyon has obtained numerous seven and six figure results in personal injury, automotive product liability, medical Negligence, construction accidents, and auto dealership negligence cases. The cases have involved successfully litigating against some of the largest companies in the world.
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A recently published study titled, A New, Evidence-based Estimate of Patient Harms Associated with Hospital Care, estimated that 210,000 hospital patients die each year from medical mistakes that could have been prevented.
This places medical malpractice as the third leading cause of death in the United States after heart disease and cancer. Further, the Office of The Inspector General estimated 180,000 deaths per year are due to medical mistakes. And a Study from Journal of Patient Safety estimated that the number of preventable deaths is between 210,000 and 440,000.
Incredibly, the Wrong Site Surgery Project Study found that national incidence of wrong site surgeries, which includes wrong patient, wrong procedure, wrong site and wrong side surgeries, may be as high as 40 per week.
The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured individuals and families against companies due to a defective product or recalled product to obtain just compensation under the law.
(Cincinnati, Ohio): Confidential settlement for a family due to a wrongful death. An emergency room physician failed to recognize the common symptoms associated with bowel obstruction and prescribed a contraindicated medicine of GoLytley. The patient died at home the day of discharge after taking the medication. The case against the emergency room physician was resolved by settlement following extensive discovery. The settlement was paid to the spouse and surviving adult children for the loss of their mother. While no amount of money could bring back their mother, the case provided answers and held the hospital accountable.
(Cincinnati, Ohio): Joe Lyon was second chair in a case involving the failure of a physician to promptly communicate a positive breast cancer result to a patient. As a result of the delay, the cancer progressed from in situ carcinoma to stage 3B with lymph node involvement. The treatment required mastectomy and radiation/ chemotherapy rather than a simple excision. The case settled after extensive discovery. The defense argued: “the patient should have called the physician.” The settlement provided recovery for suffering through a misdiagnosis and the loss of a spouse and a mother. While the settlement cannot bring this wonderful woman back, it helped her family move forward with life’s challenges and encouraged future accountability.