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Failure to Diagnose Congestive Heart Failure

Baltimore Attorneys Helping People Harmed by Medical Malpractice Seek Compensation

Congestive heart failure is a progressive disease that, over time, causes increasingly debilitating symptoms. While there is no cure for congestive heart failure, it can be managed with proper care, providing patients with an increased quality of life and longer lifespans. As such, a prompt diagnosis is essential. Sadly, however, doctors often overlook the signs of cardiac illnesses until they have progressed to the point where they are difficult to treat. In many instances, a doctor’s failure to diagnose congestive heart failure is the result of negligence. If you sustained harm because of a doctor’s reckless failure to provide you with a timely or accurate diagnosis, you have the right to seek compensation, and you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. The knowledgeable Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers of Arfaa Law Group have ample experience handling challenging cases, and if you hire us, we will fight to help you seek a just outcome.

Consequences of the Failure to Diagnose Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive heart failure is a condition that impairs the left ventricle’s ability to eject or fill with blood. It often causes fatigue, swelling of the legs and feet, and shortness of breath. It also has high mortality and morbidity rates, especially in older people. Certain conditions, like high blood pressure, obesity, valvular heart disease, diabetes, and coronary artery disease, increase the risk of developing congestive heart failure. There is no single test that is used to diagnose heart failure. Instead, doctors usually make the diagnosis after obtaining a patient’s medical history, performing a medical examination, and ordering blood tests, diagnostic imaging tests, and EKGs. Treatment for heart failure includes medication and surgery. It becomes more difficult to treat as it progresses, however, and patients have a better prognosis if they begin treatment in earlier stages.

Proving Liability for the Failure to Diagnose Congestive Heart Failure

A doctor’s failure to diagnose congestive heart failure can cause their patient to suffer a shortened life expectancy and decreased quality of life. As such, people harmed by their doctor’s failure to diagnose congestive heart failure will often seek redress for their losses via medical malpractice claims.

In the majority of medical malpractice lawsuits, the plaintiff will assert a negligence claim against the defendant. Under Maryland law, a plaintiff seeking to prove a defendant doctor’s negligence must show that the defendant owed them a duty. Typically, the duty owed is to comply with the relevant standard of care, which is the care that a competent professional practicing in the same specialty as the defendant would offer when faced with a similar situation. The plaintiff then needs to prove that the defendant’s acts or omissions constitute a breach of the duty owed. In all but the clearest of cases, the plaintiff must hire a medical expert to explain the applicable standard of care and the manner in which the defendant failed to uphold the standard to the judge or jury.

Next, the plaintiff is required to demonstrate that the defendant’s breach caused the plaintiff to sustain actual losses. In other words, the plaintiff must show that their harm would not have occurred absent the defendant’s breach. Proving causation generally requires expert testimony as well.

A plaintiff that successfully establishes a defendant’s liability may be awarded compensation for the cost of their medical care, lost wages or loss of earnings, and out-of-pocket costs. They may also be granted damages for any losses they sustained that are not easily quantified, like suffering, pain, and mental and emotional anguish.

Meet with a Dedicated Baltimore Attorney

Congestive heart failure is often manageable, and a prompt and accurate diagnosis is critical to obtaining proper treatment. If you sustained losses because of a physician’s failure to diagnose heart failure, it is advisable to meet with an attorney to determine whether you may be able to recover damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit. The dedicated Baltimore lawyers of Arfaa Law Group possess the resources and skills needed to establish liability in medical malpractice cases, and if you hire us, we will work tirelessly to help you seek a just outcome. We have an office in Baltimore, where we frequently represent plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases. You can reach us via our online form or by calling (410) 889-1850 to set up a confidential and free meeting.