If something affects your health, you can’t address it without a correct diagnosis. We rely on healthcare professionals to accurately diagnose and provide the most effective treatment possible. Sometimes, despite available information, medical professionals mistakenly state we have one thing when it’s another. Can these mistakes be the basis of the medical malpractice claim?
Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider’s actions or omissions are below the standard of care and cause you harm. When there’s no diagnosis or a misdiagnosis, medical malpractice claims involve negligence, which is the failure to provide the level of care, skill, and treatment recognized in the area as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent and similar healthcare providers.
The legal system allows healthcare providers room for judgment calls, and a mistake by a healthcare provider isn’t necessarily malpractice. When a physician or pathologist misdiagnoses a condition, depending on the underlying facts, they may be held accountable for the resulting harm.
How Can a Misdiagnosis Cause Harm?
A failure to provide the correct diagnosis can result in severe and possibly fatal injuries. If you’re treated for something you don’t have, you may be exposed to medications that produce harmful side effects or undergo surgery that could have lasting negative consequences. While you endure this situation, the underlying condition continues to worsen. While this happens, you’re paying medical bills, missing work, dealing with increased stress, and your relationships suffer. As your untreated condition progresses, you suffer more physically and emotionally.
When Might This Happen?
Some of the more common misdiagnosis situations include:
- Cancer: One of the most critical examples is a missed cancer diagnosis. Cancer can progress and become more challenging to treat when it is not detected in its early stages. In such cases, the patient may suffer severe physical and emotional distress and a reduced chance of survival. Medical malpractice claims may arise if a healthcare provider fails to order necessary tests, misinterprets test results, or dismisses the patient’s symptoms without proper investigation.
- Infectious Diseases: Infectious diseases often require prompt treatment to prevent them from spreading and causing severe complications. A failure to diagnose conditions like Lyme disease, tuberculosis, or meningitis can lead to long-lasting health issues. Delays in diagnosis can result from a physician’s failure to consider the possibility of an infectious disease, misinterpretation of test results, or simply ignoring the patient’s concerns.
- Cardiac Conditions: When it comes to heart conditions, time is of the essence. A delay in diagnosing heart conditions like heart attacks, arrhythmias, or congestive heart failure can be life-threatening. Failure to recognize cardiac symptoms, order appropriate tests, or act promptly can lead to severe cardiac events or even fatalities, prompting medical malpractice claims against the healthcare provider.
Similar problems can play out no matter what kind of health challenge you face.
Who Benefits From Medical Malpractice Cases?
The failure to diagnose a medical condition is a devastating event that can result in severe financial, physical, and emotional consequences for patients and their families. When healthcare providers neglect their duty to provide the proper standard of care, medical malpractice claims become a means of seeking justice and accountability.
Your claim may not only compensate you for the harm you suffered but also remind medical professionals of the importance of accurate and timely diagnosis. Healthcare providers must continuously educate themselves, stay updated on best practices, and maintain open lines of communication with their patients. When that breaks down, medical malpractice claims can result, and these lessons may make healthcare providers better at their jobs.
Are You the Victim of a Misdiagnosis?
If you think you’ve fallen victim to your healthcare provider’s failure to meet professional standards because you weren’t correctly diagnosed, contact the Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A. law firm today!