Failure to Diagnose Pancreatitis
Pancreatitis is a condition that affects many Americans annually. While there is no cure for pancreatitis, many people with the disease can manage or alleviate their symptoms with lifestyle changes. If a doctor neglects to take the steps necessary to diagnose pancreatitis, though, it can lead to serious and sometimes fatal complications. If you were harmed by your doctor’s failure to diagnose pancreatitis, you should meet with an attorney to discuss what claims you may be able to pursue. The skillful Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers of Arfaa Law Group possess the knowledge and skills needed to obtain winning results, and if you hire us, we will fight to help you seek justice for your harm.Diagnosing Pancreatitis
The pancreas is a gland behind the stomach that produces hormones and enzymes that help the body digest food and process glucose. When the digestive enzymes activate while they are still in the pancreas, the pancreas becomes inflamed, causing pancreatitis. People who smoke, consume excessive amounts of alcohol, have diabetes, or are obese face an increased risk of developing pancreatitis.
Pancreatitis may be acute, meaning it only lasts for a few days, or chronic, which lasts for years. The symptoms of chronic and acute pancreatitis are generally the same and include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and unintended weight loss. If left untreated, chronic pancreatitis can lead to malnutrition, kidney failure, decreased lung function, infection, diabetes, pancreatic cancer, and in extreme cases, death. As such, a prompt diagnosis is essential to a good outcome.Seeking Compensation for a Doctor’s Failure to Diagnose Pancreatitis
People that suffer harm due to a doctor’s failure to diagnose pancreatitis will often seek compensation via medical malpractice claims. As the failure to diagnose pancreatitis is usually caused by carelessness rather than intentional acts, in most cases seeking damages for such oversights, the plaintiffs will allege the defendants acted negligently.
In Maryland, to establish medical negligence, a plaintiff must show that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty to abide by the relevant standard of care. The standard of care that applies is what measures a competent practitioner working in the same specialty would take when presented with the same set of facts. The plaintiff then has to prove that the defendant breached the standard in some way. For example, if the standard dictates that a doctor should conduct blood tests on a patient complaining of vomiting and abdominal pain and the defendant failed to do so, it may constitute a deviation from the standard of care. In most cases, the plaintiff will need to retain an expert to opine on the applicable standard of care and the ways in which the defendant failed to comply with the standard.
After demonstrating the defendant’s duty and breach, the plaintiff needs to prove causation and damages. In other words, they must offer evidence establishing that the defendant’s breach of the standard of care directly caused the plaintiff to suffer measurable losses. While the breach does not have to be the sole cause of the plaintiff’s harm, it must be a significant factor in bringing it about. Usually, expert testimony is needed to prove causation. In many instances, the defendant will argue that factors other than their failure to promptly diagnose the plaintiff caused the plaintiff’s injuries. As such, many medical malpractice cases hinge on which party’s expert the judge or jury finds more persuasive.Contact a Trusted Baltimore Attorney
Pancreatitis is a serious illness that is best treated when it is diagnosed in a timely manner, and doctors that carelessly harm their patients by missing or delaying their diagnoses should be held accountable. If you were hurt by a physician’s failure to diagnose pancreatitis, you have the right to seek compensation, and it is advisable to contact an attorney. The trusted Baltimore lawyers of Arfaa Law Group can advise you of your options and aid you in pursuing any compensation available under the law. We regularly represent people in medical malpractice cases in Baltimore, where our office is located. You can contact us by calling 410-889-1850 or using our online form to schedule a confidential and free meeting.