Lessons Learned from an Improper Diagnosis

 When we last left off, I was describing a situation in which a client presented with nosebleeds and flu-like symptoms and was misdiagnosed with the flu by a nurse practitioner. It turned out that the client had promyelocytic leukemia and later suffered serious brain injuries. 

Going forward, we can derive some lessons from this incident, including:  

Most Hoosiers are unaware that immediate care centers are staffed with nurse practitioners as opposed to physicians. The law allows nurse practitioners to examine, diagnose, treat and prescribe medications to patients as any family physician would do. The supervision for these nurse practitioners is chart review by a supervising physician at a later time. It seems a patient would prefer to be examined and treated by a doctor rather than a nurse practitioner who may lack the same degree of education or training experience of a physician; 

It is important to note that a nose bleed can indicate a more serious issue. The healthcare provider should perform a full examination and work-up if there are other symptoms in addition to the nosebleeds; and 

Lay persons sometimes throw around the term “flu” in an all-purpose way. But the flu has very specific symptoms (ranging from mild to severe) and can even be over-diagnosed by physicians. And a flu diagnosis in and of itself doesn’t necessarily mean that the patient is out of woods. So be careful when you are diagnosed with the flu; flu-like symptoms plus other symptoms or problems could be a signal of a more serious condition. 

Medical malpractice cases in Indiana require compliance with specific, technical procedures. Competent and careful personal injury attorneys know the rules about how and when to bring a claim against the healthcare provider or providers who made a medical mistake. Young and Young, as injury lawyers for more than 55 years, are qualified to help you pursue your claim. 

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