Doctors often warn patients that they should keep an eye on their health, to stay up-to-date on checkups because catching problems early could make the difference between a treatable and a terminal diagnosis. It certainly is a great piece of advice to follow, but what if the doctors aren’t keeping up their end of the bargain?
CNN recently reported on the delays in diagnosis and treatment that are affecting veterans across the nation. In at least 19 cases in two years, delays in preventative medical testing proved to be fatal for the patients.
The information contained in this news report was based on an internal document CNN obtained from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The data is relevant from the years 2010 and 2011. The 19 veterans mentioned above were part of an 82-case sample involving veterans who suffered serious health consequences due to a delayed diagnosis.
Some of the veterans in these cases were forced to wait several months after complaining about pain to receive diagnostic testing such as a colonoscopy or an endoscopy. Veterans were sent home with a prescription for pain medication and a misdiagnosis only to discover months later that they had cancer that had continued to progress over those months.
As these veterans have personally experienced, a delayed diagnosis or a misdiagnosis can have serious consequences. Those that become the victim of hospital negligence in Albuquerque can seek the counsel of an attorney to determine if they have a medical malpractice claim for damages.
Source: CNN, “Veterans dying because of health care delays,” Scott Bronstein, Nelli Black and Drew Griffin, Jan. 30, 2014