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The public needs to be aware that it is the role and responsibility of these urgent care centers to separate common medical conditions from those that are truly an emergency. Often times people will assume they have a common cold, bronchitis or the flu when in fact, they are experiencing a life threatening medical condition. Unfortunately, because of the mind set of “express” medical care, the doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants at these clinics often have a mindset that what they are seeing and treating is non-emergent, even if the signs and symptoms of an emergency are present.
There are many serious, life threatening conditions that can be overlooked by these urgent care centers. These life threatening conditions often have signs or symptoms that are consistent with common ailments such as a cold, bronchitis or the flu. Unfortunately, because of the design and structure of these urgent care centers, the correct diagnoses are overlooked with disastrous consequences. For example, there are many life threatening conditions that can be overlooked because a medical provider at an urgent care center frequently makes the diagnosis of bronchitis or the flu. Overlooked diagnoses include congestive heart failure, pneumonia, an enlarged heart, fluid in the lungs, pulmonary edema, pulmonary embolism, heart attack, aortic aneurysm, lung infections, cardiac arrhythmia, heart block, abnormal heart beat, and even cancer.
If you or a loved one have been seen, treated and miss diagnosed at an urgent care center, you should speak to a medical malpractice attorney. Our firm has experience in handling cases against urgent care centers and we are intimately familiar with the practices, and the lack of policies and procedures guiding care at these institutions.