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Failure to Treat Appendicitis

Medical Malpractice Attorneys Helping Victims in Ocala and Beyond

Appendicitis occurs when the appendix becomes inflamed. The appendix is a tube-shaped organ on the lower right side of your abdomen that is attached to the large intestine, and once it is inflamed, it needs treatment. Without treatment, it may rupture. This may even result in death. It may be very frustrating to suffer severe pain but not be diagnosed and treated in a timely fashion. Unfortunately, doctors do make mistakes, and they should be held accountable when those mistakes cause injuries or death. At the Dean Law Firm, our Ocala medical malpractice lawyers may be able to help patients recover damages for a doctor's incompetent failure to treat appendicitis.

A Failure to Treat Appendicitis May Cause Severe Harm

Failing to diagnose appendicitis in a timely fashion is one of the most common forms of medical malpractice. A significant percentage of people who are diagnosed with acute appendicitis previously saw a doctor but were misdiagnosed.

However, any delay in diagnosing appendicitis may result in a ruptured appendix, which causes the intestines to spill into the abdomen. The result may be a potentially fatal condition that is known as peritonitis, which involves the inflammation of a thin layer of tissue that covers your abdomen. Sometimes appendicitis is misdiagnosed as gastroenteritis, urinary tract infection, or Crohn's disease. This misdiagnosis may also result in a delay in proper treatment or other adverse outcomes.

A failure to treat appendicitis may be medical malpractice. In most cases, a doctor who is presented with clear signs of appendicitis is supposed to operate because a delay may result in more serious injuries or even death.

In order to reach the right diagnosis, doctors use a technique called differential diagnosis. A doctor is trained to look at the symptoms to determine all of the possible health problems that they might indicate and rank the possible diagnoses. If there is a great deal of risk, the doctor usually must pay more attention to exclude a particular diagnosis. Once a diagnosis is reached, a decision may be made about how to treat the patient. Medical negligence related to a failure to treat appendicitis may occur during the differential diagnosis or subsequently, if a patient is treated for something other than appendicitis.

A plaintiff will need to retain an expert to establish that a doctor's failure to treat appendicitis was not what other similar practitioners would have done when faced with the same symptoms in a similar patient. They will need to consult a medical professional and obtain an affidavit that says that they have a valid medical malpractice claim. The plaintiff will then be involved in a 90-day settlement process with the health care provider, and only if the health care provider chooses not to settle within that period, will they file suit in civil court.

If you successfully establish liability for a failure to treat appendicitis, you may be able to receive compensatory damages through a settlement or verdict. These are damages intended to make the plaintiff whole, rather than punish the defendant. They may include the following items of loss: medical provider bills, hospital bills, household services, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of consortium, among other examples.

When a patient dies due to a failure to treat appendicitis, the personal representative of the decedent's estate may be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit to seek economic and noneconomic damages. In a wrongful death lawsuit, a plaintiff may also be able to recover compensation for items such as funeral and burial expenses, the value of support and services, loss of guidance and companionship, and other losses.

Seek Guidance from an Ocala Lawyer for a Medical Malpractice Claim

At the Dean Law Firm, our experienced Ocala attorneys can represent you in a claim related to a failure to treat appendicitis. We can also bring wrongful death claims on behalf of family members whose loved ones died due to appendicitis that was not appropriately treated. Call us at 352-387-8700 or contact us via our online form for a free appointment with an injury lawyer. We also serve medical malpractice victims in Crystal River, The Villages, and other communities throughout Levy, Citrus, Lake, Sumter, and Marion Counties.