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A Question about Misdiagnosis of a Child's Rhino Virus and Infection

Q: I took my daughter to my local hospital and and they told me she had the flu. She was getting worse so I took her back and they said it was the same flu that would last 7-10 days. Didn't do any blood work on her. I followed up with family dr that Monday morning which sent her straight to children's hospital where she ended up having the Rhino virus and a blood bacterial infection. Is this something I can sue our local hospital for since they did not properly treat her and told me it was something it wasn't?

A: Not all misdiagnosis, or mistaken diagnoses, are malpractice. Medical problems can often be caused by a variety of illnesses that have the same or similar signs and symptoms. Doctors engage in what is known as "differential diagnosis" in attempting to identify and treat the most likely cause of a medical condition. Bacterial infections often present similarly to viral infections; and, viral infections can progress into bacterial infections, so it is not entirely clear that the original diagnosis was even wrong.

In any event, unless your daughter suffered severe injury to her health by the alleged "delay" in determining she was suffering from a bacterial infection, it is not feasible to pursue a medical claim based simply on a medical mistake, even one that is negligent. Malpractice cases are enormously expensive to investigate, prepare and take to trial. Unless there are significant harms and injuries, incurring those costs is simply not worth it to the client. I hope your daughter is doing well after this unfortunate illness.

- ATTORNEY GERRY LEESEBERG

Contact Leeseberg & Valentine today. Medical malpractice attorneys in Columbus Ohio.

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