Misdiagnosis or Failure to Diagnose
Misdiagnosis is killing thousands of people each year. Doctors so often get it wrong, failing to properly diagnose a patient who does not have time on their side. Whether a doctor fails to diagnose, delays diagnosis or misdiagnoses a patient’s condition it can lead to incorrect treatment or no treatment at all. This can cause a patient to become progressively worse and is in many cases irreversible; resulting in serious injury, illness, disease and even wrongful death.
Unfortunately, misdiagnosis is a very common medical malpractice claim. The wrong diagnosis can mean the difference between life and death. The correct diagnosis is so important that there’s a standard way to diagnose disease; it’s called making a differential diagnosis. When a healthcare provider fails to follow the appropriate diagnostic process, they may diagnose the wrong disease or fail to diagnose any disease at all.
If the undiagnosed disease progresses and the patient suffers terrible harm or untimely death, then the healthcare provider may be liable for medical malpractice. Commonly misdiagnosed illnesses include: cancer, pulmonary embolism, stroke and appendicitis
Lawsuits that hold healthcare providers accountable for misdiagnosis do more than help the victims and their families — they help make our families and our communities safer by making sure that the medical care we all receive meets minimal quality standards.
Help protect your loved ones. Hold wrongdoers accountable for their negligence.
Similarly, the failure to diagnose a medical condition is a serious form of medical malpractice. Some may think of malpractice or medical negligence mainly as it relates to the treatment of a patient, but a doctor’s actions in diagnosing patients is just as important. A misdiagnosis or the ultimate failure to diagnose a serious medical condition may lead to catastrophic injuries or the loss of the patient’s life. This is particularly relevant in deadly conditions such as cancer or a heart attack.
There are different situations that may cause a failure to diagnose. A doctor, who is too busy, overworked or who has not slept may be quick to make a decision just so he or she can move on to the next patient. An inexperienced doctor may fail to recognize that certain symptoms indicate one condition over another. A nurse may fail to write down crucial information about a patient’s complaints or symptoms on a medical chart, leading to a doctor making a diagnosis based off inadequate information. An insurance company may deny further testing that would enable a doctor to make an accurate diagnosis.
Depending on the particular cause of a failure to diagnose, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the hospital, doctor, nurse or perhaps your medical insurance company for their actions.