A misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose a medical condition can result in serious injuries or illness. It can even lead to a patient’s death. These medical errors may result in a patient filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.
It may surprise some to know that in 10 to 30% of medical cases, a medical error of misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose occurs.
It is one of the more common types of medical negligence to occur.
Results of a Misdiagnosis or a Failure to Diagnose
A misdiagnosis occurs when a medical professional inaccurately identifies the medical condition a patient is dealing with. This can result in unnecessary or incorrect treatment or medication.
A failure to properly diagnose a medical condition can result in delayed treatment or medication. It can also result in a patient not receiving any type of treatment or medication for their actual condition.
Either of these medical errors can result in a patient becoming seriously injured or result in fatal consequences.
What Patients Can Do If They Have Been Misdiagnosed
Some patients are not comfortable with a diagnosis that a doctor may give. However many times patients are afraid to speak up. They may be intimidated by a doctor’s knowledge.
In addition, a patient may not feel it is their place to question a doctor. A misdiagnosis can easily occur when a patient does not have medical knowledge and doesn’t feel comfortable asking lots of questions.
Sometimes a patient may not be sure if they are the victim of a misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnosis.
In the situation of a misdiagnosis, they may feel that the symptoms they are experiencing don’t make sense with the diagnosis given.
Or in the case of a failure to diagnose, they may feel that the symptoms they are experiencing are being ignored or minimized.
Patients should always go with their gut feeling if something doesn’t seem right when it comes to seeking medical advice.
It is always a good idea, no matter what, to seek a second opinion or to ask for a referral to see a specialist.
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