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Misdiagnosis of rare diseases

Oklahoma residents sometimes suffer from rare diseases. Unfortunately, doctors sometimes mistake the symptoms of a rare disease for other disorders and fail to diagnose them. This can result in the doctor providing the wrong treatment or delaying it, causing further injury to the patient.

Diseases are considered to be rare when they affect 200,000 people or fewer at a time. More than 30 million people in the U.S. suffer from one or more of over 6,000 rare diseases, 20 percent of which are attributable to the environment, infections or allergies while 80 percent are caused by genetic problems.

One of the rare diseases in the U.S. is mesothelioma, a deadly lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Like other rare diseases, it is often misdiagnosed by doctors. When a doctor fails to accurately diagnose mesothelioma, instead diagnosing a different lung problem, the patient may not receive the needed treatment in time. The disease’s progression may then be hastened and lead to the patient’s death.

When a doctor or hospital makes a fatal medical error, the family of the person who dies may want to meet with a medical maplractice attorney who can review the patient’s medical records and obtain the opinions of experts in order to determine whether the person’s death was truly the result of medical negligence or not. The question will be whether the health care facility or practitioner failed to exhibit the requisite standard of care. Legal counsel can seek to negotiate a settlement on the client’s behalf with the insurance company and then proceed to litigation if the amount offered is deemed by the client to be inadequate.