Vaping-related lung injuries liable to misdiagnosis

On Behalf of | Feb 15, 2020 | Failure To Diagnose

In January 2020, the Journal of the American College of Emergency Physicians published a report showing how vaping-related lung injuries are liable to misdiagnosis. Ohio residents should know that if they are misdiagnosed, they run the risk of suffering from a progression of their disease.

The report gives as an example the case of a 20-year-old man who had been vaping THC for several months before becoming ill. He visited a hospital emergency department with a coarse-sounding cough and intermittent fever. He also reported weight loss of more than 20 pounds. The first diagnosis was viral illness. During a second visit, he was told he had bilateral pneumonia.

He was admitted to the hospital during the second visit and put on a course of antibiotics. When his condition did not improve, he left and visited a third emergency department where he received the correct diagnosis: a lung injury. The doctors gave him prednisone and put him on oxygen, and 48 hours later, he was taken off it.

While this patient experienced rapid improvement, others are not so lucky. The CDC states that as of January 2020, some 2,600 people have been hospitalized for vaping-related lung injuries; of these, 60 have died. The report states that it’s essential for doctors to record patients’ social history, among other things.

The failure to diagnose a condition may stem not just from its obscurity but also from the doctor’s negligence. If there is evidence that a doctor or other medical professional did not live up to generally accepted standards of care, then victims may be able to file a claim. A successful malpractice claim may reimburse victims for the cost of treating their condition as it worsened. It might also cover lost wages and pain and suffering. Victims may have a lawyer evaluate their case.

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