Is It Medical Malpractice if Doctors Misdiagnose Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
As of March 20, health officials in the U.S. reported more than 14,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) – up from 6,000 on March 18 – and more than 200 deaths across the country.
Across the globe, there have been over 250,000 cases of the coronavirus and over 10,000 deaths. The World Health Organization noted that it took more than 90 days to reach 100,000 cases worldwide and only 12 days to reach the next 100,000.
Unfortunately, as the search for the COVID-19 vaccine continues and not everyone can test for the coronavirus, many people across the globe get misdiagnosed. Often, the coronavirus is misdiagnosed for influenza due to its flu-like symptoms such as high body temperature, fever, coughing, and sore throat, among others.
But what happens when you have flu-like symptoms but have the coronavirus? What if you become a victim of coronavirus misdiagnosis? Can you sue the negligent hospital or doctor who failed to diagnose COVID-19 for medical malpractice?
Can Coronavirus (COVID-19) Be Misdiagnosed?
It can take about five days for coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms to show after contracting the virus, according to researchers in the journal Annals of Internal. However, the report noted that the vast majority of people infected with the coronavirus would develop symptoms within 12 days.
Cases of coronavirus misdiagnosis are not uncommon in the U.S. and other countries struggling with the pandemic. According to the New York Post, a Louisiana man was hospitalized after doctors misdiagnosed him with the flu.
The man, 45, went to a local urgent care clinic and was administered a flu test. Doctors told him he had the flu and prescribed Tamiflu, the steroid prednisone, and cough syrup with codeine. However, his fever did not subside, which is why he went to the emergency room. His medical records, which were provided by the urgent care clinic, revealed that the man had actually tested negative for the flu.
Then, doctors administered a coronavirus test, which revealed that the man had COVID-19. Stories like this are not uncommon, and many of them go unreported. In fact, if you have the coronavirus, it can be mistaken for a variety of other medical conditions, not just influenza.
Other Medical Conditions with Flu-Like Symptoms
Coronavirus can be misdiagnosed for dozens of medical conditions with flu-like symptoms, including:
- Whooping cough
- Bacterial infections
- Swine flu
- Certain types of cancer
What to Do After Coronavirus (COVID-19) Misdiagnosis?
If doctors misdiagnosed the coronavirus (COVID-19), you might be able to sue them for medical malpractice. Speak with a Miami medical malpractice attorney to determine whether your coronavirus misdiagnosis justifies legal action.
Florida law imposes a two-year limit for medical malpractice suits. Failure to diagnose coronavirus in a timely manner can lead to severe health complications or even death. Let’s discuss your legal options during a phone consultation with our lawyers at Pita Weber Del Prado. Call at 305-670-2889 to evaluate your situation.