If your or a loved one was the victim of a pneumonia
misdiagnosis, you may be able to hold the doctor liable. If you suffered serious or
life-threatening injuries as a result, compensation may be available.
With the different types of medical malpractice, it can be difficult to
know if you have a valid case. Contact a Cleveland pneumonia misdiagnosis
lawyer to learn what options may be available.
What is Pneumonia?
Pneumonia is not an uncommon medical condition to develop. It is generally
caused by an infection and leads to the lungs becoming inflamed. Symptoms
typically include fatigue, cough, chills, and fever. Pain is often felt
in the chest, muscles, and head.
Antibiotics can usually treat the disease. However, if it is not properly
diagnosed or if treatment is delayed, it can become serious or even fatal.
This is especially true if the patient’s immune system is already
compromised with other health problems.
Diagnosing pneumonia is usually done with a physical examination. The doctor
may use a stethoscope to listen for sounds in your lungs. An x-ray can
help detect the source of the infection. The doctor may also run blood
tests, which check your white blood cell count.
Consequences of Failing to Diagnose & Treat
Pneumonia can be treated easily with antibiotics. However, if it is not
properly diagnosed or if there is a delay in a diagnosis and/or treatment,
it could lead to serious, life-threatening complications.
Complications of pneumonia can include:
Acute respiratory distress syndrome – lung disease that reduces oxygen and makes breathing difficult;
Bacteria in the bloodstream – infection spreads through the bloodstream;
Septic shock –an infection spreading through the bloodstream can lead to organ
failure and shock;
Abscess in the lungs – a cavity with pus may form; and
Fluid accumulation – fluid can collect around the lungs, leading to infection.
Some of those who are most at risk when pneumonia isn’t properly
diagnosed or when there is a delay in diagnosis include children and the
elderly. This is due to an undeveloped or compromised immune system.
However, individuals with serious health conditions are also at risk, such
as those with certain types of cancer, heart disease, and chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease (COPD).
A pneumonia misdiagnosis could lead to filing a
medical malpractice claim. To learn if you may be entitled to receive compensation, contact
us at (440) 333-3800 to schedule your free consultation.