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Failure to Diagnose COPD

Baltimore Attorneys Representing People Harmed by Incompetent Medical Care

Chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD) is a progressive lung condition that limits a person’s airflow and causes debilitating symptoms. Although COPD cannot be cured, it can be managed, and proper care can slow its progression. As such, an accurate and timely diagnosis is essential to a COPD patient’s quality of life and prognosis. Unfortunately, however, physicians commonly mischaracterize COPD as other illnesses, and their patients suffer harm as a result. If you were hurt by your doctor’s failure to diagnose COPD, you have the right to seek compensation, and you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. The skilled Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys of Arfaa Law Group are adept at helping people injured by the carelessness of their doctors in the pursuit of justice, and if you hire us, we will advocate aggressively on your behalf.

Consequences of the Failure to Diagnose COPD

COPD is a disease that causes chronic inflammation of the lung tissue and obstructed airflow. People with COPD often have difficulty breathing and frequently cough, wheeze, and produce mucus. People living with COPD have an increased risk of developing lung cancer, heart disease, and other conditions. Chronic bronchitis and emphysema frequently contribute to COPD. COPD is usually diagnosed through a variety of tests, including blood tests, chest x-rays and CT scans, and lung function tests. COPD worsens over time, but with treatment, people can achieve control over their symptoms, improve their quality of life, and reduce their risk of developing associated conditions. Treatment for COPD often includes medication, like corticosteroids and bronchodilators, lung therapy, and management of acute exacerbations.

Malpractice Claims Arising Out of the Failure to Diagnose COPD

People living with undiagnosed COPD often suffer a reduced level of comfort and well-being, and their disease progresses more rapidly. It is not uncommon, therefore, for people who suffer losses due to a physician’s failure to diagnose COPD to seek compensation for their harm via medical malpractice claims.

Typically, a plaintiff in a medical malpractice lawsuit will argue that the defendant acted negligently. In Maryland, a plaintiff seeking to hold a defendant accountable for negligence in the context of medical care must demonstrate that the defendant owed them a duty. The duty a doctor owes their patient is to offer treatment that complies with the standard of care, which is defined as the care that a competent professional working in the same specialty as the defendant would render when faced with a similar situation. The plaintiff then needs to prove that the defendant breached the standard of care. For example, if the standard of care dictates that a doctor should conduct tests to determine if a patient with certain symptoms has COPD, but the defendant failed to do so, it may constitute a breach. Finally, the plaintiff has to establish that the defendant’s breach of the standard of care directly caused the plaintiff to sustain measurable damages. In other words, that the plaintiff would not have been hurt absent the breach.

In most cases, the plaintiff will need to retain one or more medical experts to explain the standard of care and how the defendant deviated from the standard to the jury or judge. Expert testimony is also usually needed to demonstrate causation and quantify the plaintiff’s losses. A plaintiff that offers evidence sufficient to prove a defendant’s liability may be awarded damages for their economic and noneconomic harm.

Speak to a Dedicated Baltimore Attorney

Appropriate care can often help people suffering from COPD lead relatively normal lives, but if their doctors neglect to diagnose them with COPD, they most likely will not receive the treatment they need. If your doctor’s failure to diagnose COPD caused you harm, it is smart to meet with an attorney to assess what claims you might be able to pursue. The trusted Baltimore lawyers of Arfaa Law Group have ample experience holding negligent doctors accountable for their malpractice, and if you hire us, we can advise you of your rights and aid you in seeking the maximum damages recoverable under the law. We regularly represent people in medical malpractice cases in Baltimore, where our office is located. You can reach us via our form online or by calling us at (410) 889-1850 to set up a confidential conference.