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.
Physical and Mental Effects of a Failure to Diagnose
A doctor’s failure to diagnose an underlying or associated disease can cause a patient to suffer for much longer than necessary and can allow the disease to spread or worsen. While some illnesses are more difficult to diagnose than others, a doctor has a duty to pay the necessary attention to the patient’s symptoms and make an educated diagnosis.
People put themselves in the hands of their physicians and trust them to care for their health and well-being. Failure to diagnose an underlying or associated disease can affect not only a patient’s physical health, but their mental health as well. A patient who suffers illness or injury from a doctor’s mistake can lose trust in the medical establishment or develop chronic anxiety about their health.
What to do After a Failure to Diagnose in Chicago
If you’re a patient who has been given a diagnosis and you think it might be wrong, it can be helpful to seek a second opinion. You can do some research on your own, but don’t try to diagnose yourself. Victims of a failure to diagnose need the care of a licensed physician who can determine whether any underlying or associated diseases have been missed.
Be sure to get copies of your medical records. They will show the history of the medical care you received and can show at what point in your treatment there was a failure to diagnose.
In order to make sure you’re taking the right steps, you can seek the help of a Chicago medical malpractice attorney to determine whether you have a viable case. In addition, your Chicago medical malpractice attorney can compile your medical records and conduct an investigation so you can focus on recovery.
It is reasonable for patients to expect healthcare practitioners to display a certain amount of knowledge and professionalism, and when that is not shown, such as with a case of failure to diagnose, patients can hold their doctors liable in a Chicago medical malpractice claim.
With the help of a Chicago medical malpractice attorney, you can actually seek financial compensation for not just your physical injuries, but also the mental suffering you may have experienced as a result.
Contacting a Chicago Medical Malpractice Attorney
Medical malpractice can have serious and long-lasting effects on your life. You need someone who will listen, understand and give you valuable legal support. At the Law Offices of Barry G. Doyle, P.C, our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys will examine all aspects of your case, determine liability, and aggressively pursue the full amount of compensation due to you for any injuries or loss you may have suffered as a result of a doctor’s error. Contact us today for a no-cost case evaluation – 312-263-1080.