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Differential Diagnosis and Medical Malpractice

Posted by Guy DiMartino | Mar 04, 2013 | 0 Comments

Florida medical malpractice lawyer, Guy S. DiMartino, DC, JD discusses differential diagnosis and medical malpractice cases. 

A differential diagnosis is a systematic diagnosis approach to work-up and diagnose a patient's medical condition.  It is a process whereby the doctor or healthcare provider compiles a list of potential causes of the patient's complaints and symptom complex and works through the list to rule in or rule out problems.

Working through a differential diagnoses is a four step process

  1. The doctor or healthcare provider gathers information from the patient in the form of a history and makes a list of symptoms.  The list can be in the healthcare providers head or she can write out the list.
  2. The doctor makes a list of possible conditions associated with the symptoms.
  3. The doctor will arrange the list with the most dangerous conditions at the top.
  4. The doctor will rule out the conditions on the list with physical examination, laboratory tests or diagnostic imaging.

An example of differential diagnosis in practice

  1. A 50 year old overweight man comes into the hospital with shortness of breath and chest pain.
  2. The list of conditions can include a pulled muscle, asthma, heart attack, indigestion, costochondritis, pulmonary embolism.
  3. Most urgent to least urgent condition: heart attack, pulmonary embolism, asthma, indigestion, costochondritis, pulled muscle
  4. Ruling out the most dangerous conditions: EKG and blood test for enzymes = heart attack; Blood test – Spiral CT scan = pulmonary embolism.If these tests were negative the provider may treat for asthma if physical exam findings warrant the diagnosis or the other conditions based on the exam findings

When healthcare providers fail to follow the differential diagnosis methodology, serious medical conditions slip through the cracks and patients are injured.

If you have any questions about a Florida medical malpractice claim, you can call me directly on my cell phone at (352) 267-9168 or fill out the internet consultation form on the right.

About the Author

Guy DiMartino

I have loved helping people in need for almost three decades.  It has been my privilege to serve people as their pastor, chiropractor, and lawyer.  The current focus of my legal practice and life’s passion is helping the seriously injured receive complete compensation for their injuries. I am a Florida Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney. What that really means is that I am no stranger to the courtroom.  I have successfully tried and handled serious cases in state and federal courts.  My backgrounds in both law and chiropractic medicine have given me a unique perspective, extensive knowledge, and wide experience to serve those I represent. For years as a chiropractic physician, I treated my patients to alleviate their pain and suffering. Now as their lawyer, I fight to bring them financial compensation for their pain and suffering. During my years of service, I have handled many traumatic injury cases ranging from the traumatic amputation of a limb to brain and spinal cord injury.  I consider it an honor to serve you and your family. When a person entrusts me and I accept to represent them, I don’t take that relationship and responsibility lightly. My approach is that we work as a team. We are partners and our goal is the best outcome for you and your family with the highest level of communication throughout. I am always available by phone or email to discuss my potential representation of your injury case. I handle cases throughout Florida. Education: National University of Health Sciences – BS (1984), DC (1986) Valparaiso University School of Law – JD, summa cum laude (1999) Bar Admissions: Florida (2000), Indiana (1999), Illinois (2000, expired); US District Courts of Appeals (11th Circuit, 7th Circuit); United States District Courts: Southern and Middle Districts of Florida; Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana; Northern and Central Districts of Illinois; and District of Colorado. Certification:  Civil Trial, Florida Bar Guy DiMartino on Google+ – Circle Guy on Google+ Guy DiMartino on Google+

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