Has a missed or delayed diagnosis of sickle cell anemia left you struggling with chronic pain, organ damage, and a compromised quality of life? You're not alone. Despite the availability of effective screenings to diagnose this severe disease, results are sometimes overlooked or misinterpreted. A missed diagnosis of sickle cell anemia can leave a victim with an immense physical, emotional, and financial burden. 

Holding the medical doctor or medical professional responsible for your suffering is vital. NJ sickle cell anemia attorneys fight for the compensation you deserve. Don't let a preventable mistake define your future. Learn more about sickle cell anemia and how to prevail on a negligence claim. 

What is Sickle Cell Anemia? 

Sickle cell anemia is an inherited blood disorder that disrupts the shape and function of red blood cells. Red blood cells are normally round and flexible, which allows them to carry oxygen throughout the body. However, in a person suffering from sickle cell anemia, the red blood cells become rigid and sickle-shaped and get stuck in small blood vessels, blocking blood flow and oxygen delivery. 

Failure to properly diagnose or manage sickle cell anemia leads to severe complications, including delayed growth, organ damage, and chronic pain. You may be entitled to compensation if you suspect your doctor was negligent in diagnosing you. A NJ sickle cell anemia lawyer can help you get the justice you deserve. 

Diagnosis and Treatment

Sufferers of this disease experience severe pain episodes, organ damage, fatigue, and increased risk of infection. It's critical to get an early diagnosis and treatment to prevent complications.

Newborn Screening

Newborn screening is the first line of defense. Screening involves blood tests that identify abnormalities in hemoglobin, the protein responsible for oxygen transport in red blood cells. Unfortunately, some tests may detect the sickle cell trait, while others definitively diagnose sickle cell anemia. A missed or misinterpreted test can have devastating consequences.

Other Treatments

There are still options for treatment after a delayed diagnosis. Sufferers often take hydroxyurea, a medication that prevents sickling of red blood cells and reduces pain episodes. Regular blood transfusions increase the number of healthy red blood cells and alleviate anemia symptoms. Children may often seek a bone marrow transplant from a matched donor. Additionally, gene therapy holds promise for future curative options.

How Do I Prove Negligence? 

Proving medical malpractice for a misdiagnosis of sickle cell anemia requires establishing four critical elements of a negligence claim:

  1. Duty. You must prove that a doctor-patient relationship existed and, as a result, that your doctor owed you a duty of care.
  2. Breach. The doctor must have deviated from the accepted standard of care for diagnosing sickle cell anemia. Examples of a breach may be a failure to order appropriate screening tests, misinterpreting test results, or neglecting to consider sickle cell despite symptoms.
  3. Causation. Causation requires proving that the doctor's negligence directly caused your harm. Your NJ sickle cell anemia attorney carefully reviews your medical records to establish the necessary link between the delayed diagnosis and your current health complications.
  4. Damages. You must have suffered damages due to the doctor's negligence, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. 

While the elements may seem straightforward, seeking the legal assistance of experienced NJ sickle cell anemia lawyers is vital to ensure you are able to legally establish each one. 

What Can I Recover?

New Jersey permits victims injured in medical malpractice claims to recover compensation through economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages represent concrete financial losses with verifiable documentation. They include:

  • Medical expenses, 
  • Lost wages, 
  • Lost earning capacity, and 
  • Other out-of-pocket expenses. 

You can prove economic damages with the help of documentation like receipts, invoices, pay stubs, and other tangible evidence. 

Noneconomic damages are intangible losses that are more subjective and require establishing how your sickle cell anemia diagnosis has impacted your quality of life. Examples include:

  • Pain and suffering,
  • Loss of enjoyment of life, 
  • Loss of consortium,
  • Permanent physical disability or impairment, and 
  • Emotional distress.

These damages are more difficult to prove, so it's crucial to consult with an experienced NJ sickle cell anemia lawyer to get the compensation you deserve. 

Contact Us 

At O'Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble, LLC, we understand that choosing an attorney is one of the most important decisions you will make. At our firm, we are here to provide sound and steady legal guidance when it matters most to our clients. Whether you were hurt in a hospital, workplace, vehicle, or elsewhere, our attorneys pride themselves on the settlements and verdicts we have been able to achieve for hurting people just like you. With hundreds of millions of dollars recovered for clients in judgments and settlements, we are here to help. 

Contact us by phone or email today for a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you.

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