It is an understatement to say that medical providers in Boston have a very difficult job. Tasked with juggling the huge amount of knowledge they have accrued with the symptoms of many patients can certainly be a challenge. This is especially so for general practitioners and family doctors who see a wide variety of patients.
However, just because it is difficult, that does not mean that medical providers are exempt from their duty to assess patients properly and recommend the best treatment. Failure to diagnose any condition accurately can result in a poor quality of life, worsening symptoms and even death in some situations.
Take depressive symptoms, for example. In most cases, a depression diagnosis is accurate. However, in other cases, the symptoms may exist because of something more serious, such as a brain tumor. A recent case study tells us how a misdiagnosis of brain tumors might occur.
Meningiomas are brain tumors affecting the neurological or central nervous system. Unfortunately, they may occur in patients without causing any neurological symptoms. Complicating the situation even further, many of these patients experience troubling depressive symptoms such as suicidal thoughts, apathy, difficulty sleeping and problems paying attention.
In most cases, a doctor will not order brain scans for common depressive symptoms. This can result in a failure to diagnose tumors. Most of these tumors are not cancerous, but they could cause health problems including erosion or thinning of the skull. Further, brain tumor patients experiencing depressive symptoms probably won't improve with treatments for depression. Therefore, both conditions --depression and tumors -- can go untreated.
Although it is safe to say that no doctor wants to make a serious mistake with his or her patients, a failure to diagnose can and does occur. We urge you to explore the legal options available to misdiagnosis victims in Massachusetts by studying the resources on our website.