A Misdiagnosis Can Lead to a Medical Malpractice Suit
When placing your health, well- being, and perhaps your life in the hands of doctors, nurses, and medical professionals, you trust that you will receive the highest level of care. Unfortunately, sometimes medical professionals fail to uphold and provide that standard of care, which can lead to devastating injuries that result in permanent damage, scarring, or even death. Earlier this year, a study published in the British Medical Journal found that the third leading cause of death in the United States is injuries resulting from medical malpractice – an estimated 250,000 deaths annually.
There are many factors that result in medical errors such as incompetent doctors, surgical complications, and general poor judgement. However, some factors like misdiagnosis may not be initially considered because many assume their doctor and other medical professionals took the necessary steps to diagnose them correctly before starting any sort of treatment.
Recognizing symptoms and warning signs, ordering necessary tests, and conducting appropriate follow- ups are critical parts of diagnosing an illness. A delayed diagnosis, misdiagnosis, or missed diagnosis can not only prevent the patient from receiving the care required for the best possible outcome, but also have a major impact on overall survival. For instance, common medical ailments, like appendicitis, affect hundreds of thousands of people each year. Symptoms can be similar to other medical issues, but through a series of diagnostic procedures, your doctor should be able to distinguish appendicitis from other abdominal illnesses like Crohn’s disease or diverticulitis. A misread chart by a nurse, a poorly prepared pathology slide by a lab technician, faulty diagnostic equipment, or contaminated samples can all be acts of negligence that can lead to your misdiagnosis lawsuit. In addition to diagnosing the wrong conditions, sometimes doctors and medical staff fail to detect a medical condition altogether, resulting in a missed diagnosis. A missed diagnosis can put emotional, physical, and financial strains on the patient. Since lost time can mean the difference between confronting a highly treatable condition or a life-threatening disease, a timely diagnosis is a crucial part of effective care.
If you or a loved one has suffered from medical malpractice as a result of a misdiagnosed condition, contact the attorneys at Goldberg, Persky & White. By investigating medical records and locating effective specialists to testify on your behalf, our experienced and knowledgeable attorneys will thoroughly investigate and aggressively pursue your case, working to get you and your loved ones the compensation you deserve.
Martin A. Makary, “Medical Error – The Third Leading Cause of Death in the US,” BMJ 2016;353:i2139 (May 2016). [Link]