Medical Malpractice — Rapid Assay

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A rapid assay is a test that can be done quickly and easily to rapidly diagnose and/or rule out serious or life-threatening conditions.

Failure to perform a rapid assay when a quick and easy test exists for analyzing symptoms and determining a diagnosis or treatment is often a case of medical malpractice or medical negligence.

Rapid assays (quick tests) are available for the following conditions among others:

  1. Heart Attack – Myocardial Infarction- Chest Pain- Angina
  2. Cardiac Damage ( Troponin T)
  3. Streptococcus A – Strep A – Strep Throat
  4. Appendicitis
  5. Hepatitis B – HBV
  6. Hepatitis C – HCV
  7. HIV
  8. H. pylori
  9. Mononucleosis – Mono
  10. Malaria
  11. Syphilis
  12. Chlamydia
  13. Lipids – Cholesterol (HDL and LDL) and Triglycerides
  14. Prostate Cancer Markers – PSA
  15. Hypthyroidism – PTH
  16. Anthrax

Rapid Assays Can Save Lives

Rapid assays can sometimes mean the difference between life and death. For example, when patients come to emergency rooms with chest pain, it can be hard for doctors to know if the condition is serious –such as a heart attack or a precursor to a heart attack – or may be something as simple as indigestion or a sore muscle. The rapid assays for heart attacks can detect heart attack protein markers (e.g. h-FABP or CRP) in as little as 20 minutes and can dramatically reduce the number of people mistakenly sent home with “nothing serious” when they are in fact having a heart attack. A further advantage to the rapid assay for heart attack is that it can be performed in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, thus saving critical diagnosis time and further helping to save lives.

A rapid assay for appendicitis may be able to make a significant difference in the morbidity and mortality rate of this condition as it is one of the hardest conditions to diagnose; and missed diagnoses or late diagnoses are common and can be fatal.

Strep throat has the potential to develop into far more serious conditions if not treated quickly and correctly, so the rapid assay for Strep A can be quite helpful. Since Strep A is contagious bacteria, Strep A rapid assays can also help prevent the spread of the infection.

The ability to rapidly confirm HIV has a number of advantages both for individual patients and for issues of public health.

Rapid assays for mononucleosis can help avert the progress of the disease before involving the spleen, the lymph system and other organs.

The rapid assay for H. pylori detects Helicobacter pylori ( H. pylori )-specific antibodies in the blood. The diagnosis of this infection – which causes acute and chronic gastritis, non-ulcer dyspepsia, and gastric and duodenal ulcer formation – used to require costly and invasive procedures such as surgical biopsy. If left undiagnosed and untreated, the infection can lead to very serious health problems including gastric cancer. Now with easy detection from this rapid assay, antibiotic treatment can begin immediately, thus reducing risks and complications.

The value of using the new anthrax rapid assay, especially in the event of an epidemic, can hardly be overstated.

The rapid assay for PTH (parathyroid hormone) is useful for localization of tumors prior to surgery for hypothyroidism/parathyroid surgery.

Rapid Assay Malpractice Issues

The issue of malpractice in relation to rapid assay tests usually centers on the failure of the medical professional to use a rapid assay if it is available. When a quick and easy test exists for detecting a disease, infection or condition, it is inexcusably negligent for the test not to be used.

Although rapid assays do have some drawbacks and are not always as reliable as more complicated tests that have longer waiting periods for results, that is no excuse not to at least use them for initial data and assistance with rapid diagnosis – especially in cases of life threatening conditions.

Contact Information

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