The novel coronavirus that has caused the COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be far more dangerous than the seasonal flu. Current estimates show that the coronavirus has a fatality rate in the United States of roughly 2-3%, which is much higher than the fatality rate for seasonal flu (which is roughly 0.1%).
Although there is no cure for the virus, a timely, accurate diagnosis could prove critical. Many patients have responded positively to some experimental therapies. They can also receive supportive care much earlier if they are diagnosed correctly. Unfortunately, once patients get onto a respirator, their chances of surviving are dramatically lower. What happens if a doctor failed to correctly diagnose a loved one with COVID-19? As experienced Miami wrongful death attorneys, we can analyze whether you have a legal claim for this medical error.
Symptoms of COVID-19
This virus is affecting different people in different ways. However, some common symptoms include:
- A dry, persistent cough that worsens
- Shortness of breath
Some patients have also experienced:
- Body aches
These symptoms overlap those of the seasonal flu. Nevertheless, your doctor should order necessary tests to help identify whether you have the novel coronavirus. There are blood tests available in most hospitals, and patients already hospitalized might have a scan done of their lungs. Pneumonia is a serious complication that has contributed to many deaths.
Medical Errors are Inexcusable
This virus definitely caught medical professionals by surprise in the early weeks of the pandemic. However, by April 2020, all professionals should be following proper protocols to diagnose the virus and halt its spread in hospitals and other care facilities.
Unfortunately, evidence emerges almost daily that some hospitals and doctors are being negligent. And their negligence ends up costing lives.
For example, a recent study published in the American Journal of Roentgenology found that radiologists were misdiagnosing about 4% of COVID-19 cases. Although the authors labeled this error rate as low, it means that tens of thousands of people (and possibly more) are not getting the treatment they need in a timely manner due to misdiagnosis.
Speak with a Miami Wrongful Death Attorney
If a loved one has passed from COVID-19, surviving family members might have legal rights to sue. This is a difficult time, and medical malpractice cases involving the virus is an emerging field of law.
At Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, we have the necessary experience to represent clients effectively in this cutting-edge area of law. Please call us at 305-371-2692 for more information.