Our skin is both the largest and most overlooked organ on our entire body. Many skin conditions can have dire impacts on our health as they cause damage to other organs once they have acquired the ability to move throughout the body. The Chicago dermatologist medical malpractice attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers understand the importance of early diagnosis and treatment when it comes to ensuring the most favorable prognosis for patients. When doctors don’t respond to patient concerns in a logical fashion and fail to order the right tests or advocate for appropriate treatment measures, they can and should be held accountable if their patients suffer for it.
Dermatologists Contribute More to Medicine than Most Realize
Many people are apathetic when it comes to dermatology and don’t realize just how important it can be to take care of and maintain the skin. It can also be viewed in a cosmetic vein due to the many procedures and treatments dermatologists provide patients who are seeking to address issues of appearance such as signs of aging and the presence of scars. What most of us fail to consider at times is that dermatologists also focus on more serious conditions that can impact our quality of living or become an immediate threat to our lives.
In addition to treating skin conditions, dermatologists can treat illnesses and disorders of the hair, nails and mucous membranes. There are over 3,000 medical conditions that are treated by these specialists that can range from minor allergic reactions and acne to the removal of cysts and treatment of cancer. Among these conditions are also bacterial and fungal infections, eczema and psoriasis.
Before being able to practice in the field, dermatologists must first complete a one year internship followed by a three year residency program. It is during this time that dermatologists acquire all of the on hands experience and much of the field specific knowledge that they need to perform their duties in an efficient and responsible manner once they complete their residency.
Our Chicago dermatology malpractice lawyers recognize just how important these specialists are and the many ways they can prolong and enrich our lives through what they do. We also know how the failure to diagnose a condition, recommending an inappropriate treatment or making a critical error while performing a procedure can result in life altering injuries or premature death and only expect that dermatologists be held accountable when their actions are found negligent.
Diagnosis Errors Often Cited in Dermatology Malpractice Cases
While many of the conditions dermatologists treat can be addressed through the application of topical or oral medications, other conditions require more thorough diagnostic procedures to detect and advanced treatment measures to cure or eliminate. When considering a diagnosis or treatment options, the doctor needs to decide whether the underlying issue is something more serious and worthy of additional testing. It is the failure to order these tests that can result in disaster when the patient is indeed suffering from something more serious.
Skin cancer represents the greatest threat to our lives if it is allowed to spread unabated because of detection failure. Studies have repeatedly shown that all cancer patients have a significantly greater chance of survival if the cancer is discovered early on and those who suffer from various skin cancers are much more likely to die when the cancer is caught late than if it is diagnosed early.
Certain skin infections can also become a threat when they are either misdiagnosed or undetected. These infections can become extremely painful and spread to other areas of the body; where they pose the threat of causing damage to other organs. The two most serious consequences that can arise from failing to diagnose a skin infection are the need for amputation or a condition called sepsis, which occurs when bacteria are able to make their way into the blood and invade vital organs such as the heart, lungs, kidneys and brain.
Dermatology Negligence Can Result from Wrong Treatment Decisions
Even the treatment of the most minor of skin conditions can have adverse effects if the medication or treatment method used is inappropriate. Allergic reactions, drug interactions, skin discoloration, the appearance of scars and other unsightly disfigurement can occur due to what many might view as the simple treatment of acne, eczema, psoriasis or a minor rash. Certain surgical procedures may also result in scarring or the appearance of stretch marks and other blemishes.
There are different ways to address the treatment of infections, tumors and skin cancer as well and dermatologists need to be fastidious about their selection of treatment methods. For example, some forms of skin cancer may respond well to Mohs surgery while the procedure may provide very little benefit to others. This procedure attacks the cancer in an aggregate manner by removing skin in thin layers until the surgeon is no longer able to detect the presence of any remaining cancer cells. It may not be appropriate for larger tumors or if there is reason to suspect the cancer has metastasized.
It is the duty of a dermatologist to consider all of the risks involved in any treatment option and whether the potential benefits outweigh them.
Injuries Due to Dermatologist Malpractice Vary in Severity
Since the field of dermatology encompasses such a wide range of medical concerns, negligent treatment can result in very minor discomfort for some and physical or emotional agony for others. Some of the most serious injuries our Chicago dermatologist malpractice lawyers have seen include the following.
- Advancement of cancer— if undiagnosed and untreated, skin cancer can spread throughout the body where it may metastasize and threaten internal organs. The cancer cells will first spread to deeper layers of the skin and could then move elsewhere once finding an avenue such as the lymph system or blood. Failing to detect skin cancer early is almost akin to delivering a death sentence due to the extremely low rate of survival among those with late stage skin cancers.
- Scarring and disfigurement— while it is possible for some medications to result in unsightly blemishes and scars, most of the scarring caused by malpractice is due to surgical errors. The presence of scars can become a permanent reminder of a tumultuous experience or diminish a person’s confidence and self-esteem. Children and teenagers may be ridiculous or treated as outcast due to the presence of these imperfections.
- Loss of limb— this is most likely due to the advancement of an untreated skin infection, but can occur due to other errors in diagnosis or treatment. If the infection threatens the life of the patient and can no longer be treated through the course of an antibiotic, this could be the only way to save the patient’s life.
- Death of patient— it is always unfortunate to lose a loved one, but the loss becomes even more difficult to bear when considering that steps could have been taken to save his or her life. The loved ones left behind when someone dies due to medical malpractice are well within their rights to seek fair compensation for their loss.
Experience Matters When Selecting a Chicago Dermatologist Malpractice Lawyer
If you have been injured or lost a loved one due to a medical mistake or doctor’s reckless judgement, you may be entitled to recover compensation for the cost of any associated treatment costs, pain and suffering, lost wages, future cost of care, loss of opportunity or loss of consortium. These cases can be difficult to win, which is why it is so important that you work with a law team that knows how to give you the best chance of doing so.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers has represented thousands of clients whose lives were forever impacted by the negligent decisions of medical experts. We understand that the most important decision you will make when pursuing the compensation you deserve will be who you choose to represent your interests and this is why our malpractice law team is made up of attorneys that have had past successes working with people just like you and who have chosen to specialize in medical malpractice law.
Contact us today to arrange a free consultation with one of our award winning Chicago dermatologist medical malpractice attorneys so that we can gather all of the information we need to investigate your case. From there, we can review all available legal avenues and how we can best serve your needs so that you know exactly what you can expect. At no point will we require upfront fees for our services and if we are unable to secure damages on your behalf, our services will be free of charge.