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When you go into the doctor's office with symptoms of a medical problem, you expect and hope that a medical professional will do everything in their power to discover the cause of your signs and symptoms, make a proper diagnosis, and indicate the best way to treat or manage the medical condition. More often than we wish to believe, doctors fail to address a patient's signs and symptoms, order appropriate medical tests, or otherwise take every step possible to determine a patient's condition. When a physician makes a misdiagnosis of a patient's medical condition, the mistake has the potential to cause serious injury and illness.
Types of Misdiagnosis
Medical misdiagnosis is often the result of a medical professional's failure to meet the standards of care, skill, and prudence required in their field. When medical malpractice involving misdiagnosis does injury to a patient, the victim has a legal right to seek compensation for their losses and suffering. There are different types of misdiagnosis in a medical malpractice case that can result in patient illness or injury.
A case of misdiagnosis may involve a completely wrong diagnosis. The patient might have a condition similar to the misdiagnosis, a different condition completely, or may not even be suffering a medical condition at all. Misdiagnosis of this kind is most common in cases involving rare or asymptomatic conditions, digestive conditions, behavioral and emotional dysfunction and infant maladies.
An injurious misdiagnosis may involve a doctor's failure to properly identify the subtype of a patient's condition. With some medical conditions, identification of a subtype is not necessary to ensure that a patient receives proper treatment, as in the case of a common cold or the flu. With other medical conditions, the proper and prompt identification of the subtype is crucial to ensuring that the patient receives the treatment they need. This type of misdiagnosis can result in serious illness or injury in patients with diabetes, heart conditions, and other conditions.
Failure to Identify the Underlying Cause
A physician's failure to identify the underlying cause or secondary condition that a patient may be suffering is also a type of misdiagnosis. When an underlying condition is overlooked, a patient may suffer if the treatment of the diagnosed condition is inappropriate or inadequate. When patients receive inappropriate medication or those they are allergic to, a misdiagnosis may also prove deleterious to patient health.
Contact an Attorney Near You
When misdiagnosis is identified early and corrected, a patient may not suffer any adverse consequences from the medical mistake. In other cases, a medical misdiagnosis can result in serious, and even fatal, injury. Patients can avoid misdiagnosis by obtaining a second opinion, conducting some independent research, asking questions, requesting medical tests, and more. If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of misdiagnosis, you may wish to contact a qualified medical malpractice attorney who can evaluate your case. Please contact us to speak with an experienced attorney in your area.
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