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Proving wrongful death in a case of delayed or missed diagnosis

Illinois physicians are required to meet a certain standard of care when treating patients. When that standard is not met, patients can suffer debilitating, permanent or fatal injuries. No family expects to lose a loved one at the hands of a doctor, nurse or other medical professional. If negligence was suspected, discussing a potential wrongful death claim would be appropriate.

That standard of care also applies to diagnoses. If the proper diagnosis is delayed or missed, a patient's condition will more than likely worsen due to a lack of appropriate treatment. Not all delayed or missed diagnoses are due to negligence since many ailments have multiple symptoms and can be difficult to diagnose.

However, some physicians are not as diligent as others. They ignore a patient's risk factors (failure to take and review family and medical histories) and/or symptoms. With today's medical technology, physicians have never had access to as many diagnostic tools as they do today. Failing to make use of those tools can prolong a patient's suffering.

Even when these tools are used, however, a mistake could be made in their interpretation, which could also lead to a delayed or missed diagnosis. Furthermore, a patient has the right to know the results of every test. In some cases, other medical professionals might also need to know the results in order to help the patient.

Proving that a delayed or missed diagnosis led to the death of a loved one could become complicated. When pursuing such a wrongful death claim on this basis, one would benefit from the advice and guidance of an Illinois medical malpractice attorney who will bring in another medical professional to review the case. If that individual agrees that the standard of care was not met, he or she could provide testimony to that effect that could help make the claim successful.

Source: bsfdea.com, "Does a Delayed Diagnosis Constitute a Wrongful Death?", Accessed on Dec. 11, 2016

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