Pneumonia is a serious disease and its misdiagnosis can be as life-threatening as the illness itself. If you have suffered harm due to a misdiagnosis of pneumonia due to your doctor’s negligence, you may be a victim of medical malpractice. This is the time to get in touch with Nagel Rice LLP. Our attorneys have been successfully serving clients throughout New Jersey for 40 years and have recovered over $1 billion in damages. Contact us now to discuss your options. We will charge you nothing until we win you just compensation.
What is pneumonia and what are its causes?
Pneumonia is an acute respiratory infection that affects the lungs. It may be caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi. When a patient has pneumonia, the small sacs of the lungs (alveoli) fill with pus and fluid, restricting breathing, causing pain, and limiting oxygen intake.
Why is pneumonia sometimes misdiagnosed?
Unfortunately, the symptoms of pneumonia are the same or similar to those of many other conditions, so even experienced doctors can be misled. Since everyone makes mistakes,
doctors cannot be held liable for a misdiagnosis unless they were negligent in making the wrong call.
When Pneumonia Misdiagnosis Becomes Medical Malpractice
When physicians misdiagnose pneumonia because they have not acted as a properly trained doctor would under the same circumstances, and their misdiagnosis has led to the worsening of the patient’s condition, Nagel Rice’s medical malpractice lawyers will hold them accountable.
This may be the case if your doctor failed to perform routine diagnostic tests, missed clear indications during the physical exam, failed to pay attention to your medical history, or neglected to consider other possible diagnoses as any reasonable doctor should. If due to your physician’s negligence, you developed another serious ailment, your pneumonia worsened, or you went through an unnecessary medical procedure, our attorney will fight aggressively for your right to meaningful compensation.
Symptoms of Pneumonia
Symptoms of pneumonia vary among patients. Depending on their age, general health, and level of immunity, patients may present with:
- Coughing, accompanied by yellowish or greenish mucus
- Fever and chills
- Difficulty breathing (shortness of breath)
- Rapid or shallow breathing
- Chest pain, especially when breathing and coughing
- Extreme fatigue
- Crackles and wheezing were heard through a stethoscope
- Nausea and vomiting (more common in children)
- Confusion (more common in adult patients 65 and older)
These symptoms mimic those of many other illnesses, so they may sometimes fool even pulmonologists. The key to whether or not your doctor is liable for damages is two-fold, depending on  whether the doctor acted according to accepted standards of proper care and  whether you suffered actual harm as a result of the misdiagnosis.
Other Illnesses and Conditions Pneumonia May Be Confused With Include:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Heart attack
- Legionnaire’s disease
- Pulmonary edema
- Lung cancer
- Pulmonary embolism
- Tuberculosis (TB)
- Seasonal viruses
It should be noted that even on X-rays, pneumonia can at times be confused with congestive heart failure or scarring of the lungs, or with some types of lung cancer.
Medical Errors That May Lead to a Pneumonia Misdiagnosis
The following mistakes, if they lead to a worsening of the patient’s condition, may be grounds for a medical malpractice suit:
- Failure to order chest X-rays or other diagnostic tests
- Failure to take a complete patient history or to pay attention to its details
- Failing to recognize pneumonia as a potential complication of another illness
- Mixing up patient records or test results
- Rushing through the patient examination
- Failure to provide proper follow-up care or instructions
- Failure to consider different or similar diagnoses
- Mistakes in medication prescriptions (e.g. dosages)
Damages Our Pneumonia Misdiagnosis Attorneys Will Fight to Recover
Our attorneys are as empathic as we are skilled. We will fight vigorously for you to receive the maximum compensatory damages, both economic and non-economic, you deserve for all you have been through.
Economic damages will reimburse you for out-of-pocket expenses, including:
- Medical and rehabilitation costs
- Lost income present and future
- Loss of earning power (if you are unable to return to work)
- Replacement services (e.g. childcare, house cleaning)
- Extended nursing care
Non-economic damages will compensate you for intangible, but very real losses, including:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
No Amount Compensates for Wrongful Death
If you have suffered the tragedy of losing a loved one to a pneumonia misdiagnosis, we
will pull out all the stops to bring you the funds you need to cover final medical costs and funeral/burial/cremation expenses. We will also attempt to quantify and cover your loss of financial and emotional support.
Contact the Tough Pneumonia Misdiagnosis Attorneys of Nagel Rice Now
We have the knowledge, talent, and determination you need to go up against the powerful medical corporations and the insurance companies that represent them. Contact us today so we can begin dedicating ourselves to stabilizing your present and securing your future.