The Ophthalmic Mutual Insurance Company has found that more and more malpractice claims involving ophthalmologists are arising on account of diagnostic errors. Moreover, many of the misdiagnoses are of a common condition called retinal detachment. Perhaps you had your RD misdiagnosed by an ophthalmologist in Pennsylvania. You may be eligible for compensation.
Some facts about retinal detachment
Retinas can detach from the tissue at the back of the eye for several reasons: age-related deterioration, say, or complications from eye surgery or a previous eye injury. While painless, the condition must be caught early before the center of the retina, called the macula, becomes detached and causes vision loss. Symptoms include flashes of light and “floaters” in one’s vision.
What the OMIC study revealed
As part of their study, OMIC researchers analyzed 1,613 ophthalmic malpractice claims. Of the 223 that involved diagnostic errors, 84 concerned the retina and 65 were specifically linked with RD. Retina-related claims exceeded all the others in number and percentage.
Reasons for RD-related claims
There can be several factors in this trend, including a lack of teamwork and even failures in etiquette among the staff. If non-medical staff members do not properly act as the gateway for patients and hold up the standards for communication, especially over the phone, RD patients may not schedule the crucial follow-up visit, for instance. This leads to another issue, the lack of thorough patient education.
Misdiagnoses can also arise as a result of distractions. Physicians may respond to calls and text messages during the diagnostic process, for example, and compromise their ability to interpret the images in front of them.
Legal representation for malpractice victims
To see if you have a valid case under medical malpractice law, you may want to have the assistance of a lawyer. The lawyer may hire third parties to investigate the matter, and medical experts can show just how the diagnostic error was the result of negligence and caused your injuries. In the end, the lawyer may help you achieve a settlement covering all your losses, such as medical expenses and pain and suffering.