When A Lack Of Communication Causes Malpractice
Many patients require the help of more than one doctor to manage their medical care. In this digital age, it’s much easier for doctors to communicate about patients. With email, faxing, and telephones, doctors can communicate quickly and efficiently. Unfortunately, sometimes doctors fail to utilize these methods to communicate. This was the case for a patient suffering from headaches who ended up suffering a stroke because his doctors failed to communicate test results.
The patient visited his primary care physician to discuss tunnel vision, headaches, a sensitivity to light, and a painful left face and jaw, among other symptoms. The patient was referred to a neurologist after worsening migraines for a Doppler carotid scan. The neurologist examined the patient, his symptoms, and his medical history and scheduled the carotid scan for the following day.
The technician performing the scan had a radiologist immediately review the scan’s findings, but the radiologist did not discuss the findings with the patient. The radiologist determined the patient had a narrowing of his left internal carotid artery and faxed his findings to the patient’s primary care physician.
CT scan results of the patient’s head were also sent to his primary care physician. Unfortunately, the primary care physician did not reach out to the patient regarding the results of his tests. Instead, the patient contacted his primary care physician inquiring about the results. Just one day later, man suffered a stroke.
The patient’s findings from the carotid scan and the CT scan showed a serious risk of blocked blood flow, but despite the alarming results, not one doctor used urgency to communicate these risks to each other or to the patient. By failing to communicate with each other, no treatment plan was implemented and the patient suffered a serious injury as a result.
When Communication Fails
Patients rely on doctors to interpret test results and scans because they don’t have the knowledge to interpret these things themselves. Because patients are completely reliant on doctors for their diagnosis and treatment, doctors have a responsibility to provide timely care. When they fail to do so, they put patients at risk.
If you or someone you love suffered an injury to due your doctor’s failure to communicate or act, contact Lopez McHugh LLP. Our medical malpractice attorneys are experienced at analyzing medical records and helping clients get compensation for their injuries. Call us today to schedule a consultation to discuss your legal options.