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Failure To Diagnose and Treat Gout

Baltimore Lawyers Helping People Pursue Damages in Medical Malpractice Cases

Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis that generally causes swelling and pain in the joints. Gout is not only painful, but it can also lead to permanent joints and kidneys. As such, it is critical that it is diagnosed and treated promptly. Unfortunately, however, doctors often fail to provide patients with gout with an accurate diagnosis, and their condition deteriorates, causing debilitating injuries. The failure to diagnose and treat gout is often the result of medical negligence, and people harmed by such incompetence may have grounds for pursuing medical malpractice claims. If you suffered harm due to a doctor's failure to diagnose and treat gout, you should consult an attorney to discuss your rights. The Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at Arfaa Law Group specialize in helping those injured by negligent doctors pursue justice, and if we represent you, we will aggressively advocate on your behalf.

Diagnosing and Treating Gout

Gout occurs due to the buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints. It typically arises in the joints of the toes but can also involve other joints, like the ankles, knees, wrists, and fingers. Symptoms include sudden and intense joint pain, swelling, redness, and warmth in the affected area. Gout attacks can be triggered by factors such as diet, alcohol consumption, certain medications, and underlying health conditions.

Gout is usually diagnosed through blood tests measuring uric acid levels and tests analyzing the joint fluid for the presence of uric acid crystals. Treatment involves managing acute attacks with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, colchicine, or corticosteroids.

If left untreated, gout can progress to a chronic form known as chronic gouty arthritis, which causes persistent inflammation in the joints, even between gout attacks. Additionally, if uric acid crystals accumulate in the kidneys, they can cause kidney damage and increase the risk of developing chronic kidney disease. Gout has been linked to an increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases as well.

Seeking Damages for the Failure To Diagnose and Treat Gout

People that suffer harm due to their physician’s failure to diagnose and treat gout have the right to seek damages through medical malpractice lawsuits. In medical malpractice cases, the plaintiff will usually set forth a medical negligence claim against the defendant, as the failure to promptly and accurately diagnose the condition is often due to carelessness or neglect rather than intentional harm.

Under Maryland law, medical negligence consists of four elements that the plaintiff must prove to establish liability. First, the plaintiff needs to show that the defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff. Generally, the duty a doctor owes a patient is to treat them in accordance with the applicable. The standard of care is the level of care that a competent practitioner in the same field would provide in a similar situation. Next, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant deviated from the standard of care. Expert testimony is typically necessary to establish these first two elements since jurors usually do not have independent knowledge regarding the duties imposed on doctors.

The plaintiff must then prove that they suffered harm and, finally, that their harm is directly linked to the defendant's departure from the standard of care. In other words, the plaintiff must show that the defendant's actions or omissions directly caused their injuries. In most cases, expert testimony is also required to establish causation. A plaintiff that shows a defendant is liable for medical malpractice may be granted compensation for the cost of the medical treatment they needed due to the defendant’s negligence, out-of-pocket expenses, and lost wages. The jury may grant them damages for the pain and suffering they experienced due to the defendant’s behavior.

Speak to an Experienced Baltimore Lawyer

Gout can lead to significant complications if it is not promptly diagnosed and properly treated, and patients injured by such oversights may be able to pursue claims against the providers responsible for their harm. If you suffered losses because of a physician’s failure to diagnose and treat gout, you should speak to an attorney about what claims you may be able to pursue. The experienced Baltimore lawyers of Arfaa Law Group can assess the facts of your case and craft compelling arguments on your behalf. We have an office in Baltimore, where we frequently represent people in claims against negligent healthcare providers. You can reach us through our online form or at (410) 889-1850 to set up a conference.