Failure to Diagnose and Medical Malpractice

When a patient is not diagnosed properly for an illness and either not provided treatment or given the wrong treatment plan, the person is entitled to make a personal injury claim. The reason they have a right to make a claim is due to non-diagnoses or wrong diagnoses, which under the law constitutes medical malpractice. This is a common type of claim and accounts for approximately 40 percent of all malpractice claims, of failing to properly diagnose the patient.

Getting a Misdiagnosis

It is difficult for many people to believe that a medical professional would provide a wrong diagnosis for their condition, especially if they are being treated by a medical team rather than their family physician. These misdiagnosis’s do happen, whether it is by the patients personal doctor or a team of medical professionals and some of the most common reasons for a wrong diagnosis include:

  • Failure to Order Tests: In some cases the attending physician may not order tests, blood work or other examinations that are necessary to properly diagnose a medical condition.
  • Failure to Adjust Treatment: This may occur by not recognizing signs or symptoms.
  • Failure to Order Tests: This is a failure to order test on a regular basis to monitor a medical condition for any possible changes.
  • Failure to Provide Follow Up Care: The failure to provide correct follow up care may include not ordering tests or other examinations.
  • Misinterpretation of Tests: This is when lab results and other tests are not read properly by the attending physician, technicians or other hospital staff. It can also occur when there is wrong information on the tests because they were not read properly.
  • Misinterpretation of Tests: This is when lab results and other tests are not read properly by the attending physician, technicians or other hospital staff. It can also occur when there is wrong information on the tests because they were not read properly.

Common Misdiagnosed Medical Conditions

There are some medical conditions that are more common than others that are misdiagnosed, with some of these being life threatening when not properly diagnosed and the proper treatment ordered.

  • Cancer: Cancer of the skin, lung, kidneys, breasts, prostate, ovaries and testicles.
  • Diabetes: Ketoacidosis and diabetic coma.
  • Allergies: Allergy reactions like anaphylaxis.

Other medical conditions that are often misdiagnosed are stroke, infection caused by parasites, Lyme disease and meningitis.

Wrong Diagnosis Consequences

When there is a wrong diagnosis, it can mean the patients health does not improve, deteriorates or it can have a much worse consequence. A misdiagnosis can have impacting life implications of permanent damage or death. During the past 20 years there have been some misdiagnosis with devastating consequences that have resulted in medical malpractice cases for misdiagnosis, which include:

  • Pneumonia
  • Appendicitis
  • Heart attack
  • Pulmonary Embolism
  • Aortic Dissection
  • Life Threatening Infection

Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

When there has been medical malpractice involving a misdiagnosis it is a complex issue under the law and filing a lawsuit is better left to legal professionals. The reason why the symptoms were not diagnosed properly will need to be identified and how the condition was not recognized. This is not just the doctor, who was involved in the medical error in many cases, since they often rely on lab reports for blood and other tests done and read by technical experts, they depend on nurses and in some cases consult with other medical experts.

This can make it difficult to prove there was a misdiagnosis, without the assistance of a medical malpractice attorney. They are experts in determining how, when and why the medical failure occurred and how to legally pursue holding the negligent parties responsible legally.