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Failure to Diagnose Central to Family's Malpractice Lawsuit

On behalf of Robert Kingsland of Dempsey & Kingsland, P.C. posted in Failure to Diagnose on Saturday, January 11, 2014.

Even to someone on the outside of the medical field, it would seem as though diagnosing a disease or condition would be difficult. There are endless possibilities for why someone is feeling ill or in pain. Pinpointing the exact cause isn’t exactly easy.

However, with certain conditions, the diagnostic process should be much more routine. Even if tests may not directly show what the problem is, they will lead medical professionals in the right direction. There will be warning signs. When these signs are observed, medical staffers are supposed to address the issue. Unfortunately this doesn’t always happen (for a variety of reasons), and it is the patient who always suffers as a result. Depending on the circumstances, the failure to diagnose a patient’s condition could make a doctor or medical facility liable for the patient’s ultimate condition.

That may be the case in the tragic death of a young woman who just received her medical degree. She went to the hospital that she was supposed to work at for her residency, complaining of headaches. She was admitted, but staffers on hand failed to properly take her medical history or perform “simple head imaging.” Adding to the issue, the woman came in during the Memorial Day holiday. As a result, the hospital was short staffed, and it wasn’t until after the holiday that the woman’s condition was properly addressed.

By that time, her condition went from “one that was easily and completely correctable to a full-blown, life-threatening medical emergency.” She died of a blood clot soon thereafter.

Apparently many of the tests that were performed pointed to worrying blood clot signs, and yet medical staffers failed to properly address her condition. The woman’s family is now suing for medical malpractice.

Source:, “Malpractice suit filed in young doctor’s death,” Jerry Lynott, Jan. 8, 2014