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Brooks Law Legal Blog

Keys to Getting a Proper Medical Diagnosis

Categories:Working with an Attorney

The Tampa Bay Times reported on April 24, 2013 that a local female swimmer and lifeguard happily received successful treatment for a swimming injury. The key to her recovery was a correct diagnosis by her doctors at Tampa Bay General including Dr. Karl Ilig, a professor and the director of vascular surgery.

The swimmer had persistent pain in her right arm. She dealt with some discomfort from the arm for a while, but when her arm suddenly swelled to three times the size of her left arm she sought treatment. Her injury, known as effort thrombosis, was caused by the repetitive stress of her swimming movements.  This injury is sometimes mistaken for a simple blood clot. But the normal treatment of blood thinners probably would not have worked. Rather, a clot dissolving drug and the removal of a small bone at the top of the rib cage was required. Fortunately she was able to experience a full recovery, but this was a tricky diagnosis and the doctor knew exactly how to handle it.

Importance of Early Treatment

  • It’s crucial for all patients, especially those who have pain because of an accident, work-related stress, or because of faulty products to understand some of the keys to helping the doctors give a proper diagnosis – one which will resolve or eliminate your pain.
  • The doctor, in the swimmer case, said the key to her successful treatment was getting treatment early. If she had delayed further she would have risked that the clot wouldn’t have been able to dissolve with medication or might have moved to her lungs or brain, which could have caused a stroke.
  • Seek early treatment. Don’t wait until the pain becomes unbearable.
  • Pain in accident cases usually gets worse the second day – so get treatment the first day.
  • Delay in seeing a doctor could be held against you when it comes to your legal claim.

Research Your Doctor

  • Research your doctor before you make the appointment. Check with your insurance carrier to see which doctors are covered and which doctors you might have to pay extra for.
  • Find out what medical schools they went to, how long they’ve been practicing, if they are board certified.
  • See if they have written any scholarly articles.
  • Ask friends, family and co-workers if they know the doctor. See if the doctor has testimonials.
  • Ask what hospitals the doctor works with.
  • Find out who covers for the doctor when the doctor is unavailable.

Give a Full Medical History

  • Give your physician a full medical history.
  • Don’t be shy.
  • Don’t hold back information.
  • Along with a physical examination a doctor will take an oral history.
  • The more the treating doctor or hospital knows the better diagnosis they can make.

Ask Questions

  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You’re the client. You’re the patient.  The doctor is there to help you.
  • Try to write down any questions you have before you see the doctor.
  • If you’re in extreme pain or highly nervous bring a relative or a friend with you to help make sure you ask about any aspect of the medical care that concerns you.
  • You want to understand the diagnosis, the prognosis and the treatment plan.
  • Make sure you completely understand what steps the doctor wants you to take. The doctor should write these down for you.
  • If you have any hesitation get a second opinion.

How our law firm can help?

If anyone you know is a victim of an accident or thinks their pain might be someone else’s fault, let our law firm help you get the recovery you deserve. During this difficult time we will help you receive the maximum compensation allowed by law and we will assist you through every step of the case.  Our team of lawyers works with medical professionals, valuation experts, technical experts and other lawyers. If you or a loved one suffered an injury or a death please call us at 1-888-WE-MEAN-IT (1-888-936-3264) or email us at: info@brookslawgroup.com.

 

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