One common form of medical malpractice in the United States stems from misdiagnosis. In fact, several studies show that every year about 12 million adults (5 percent) receive a misdiagnosis. While not every mistake is harmful, research suggests they are about half the time.
Although misdiagnoses can happen in hospitals, they’re more likely to occur in another setting. The most common places are outpatient clinics and physicians’ offices.
Three primary areas for diagnostic errors include general primary care, lung and colorectal cancer. The harm in a misdiagnosis oftentimes stems from a delay in treatment. For instance, some cancers caught early can result in a successful outcome. But those that progress and aren’t diagnosed until later could be more difficult to treat.
Another danger with misdiagnosing a patient is giving him or her the wrong treatment. Receiving treatment for a condition the patient doesn’t have could result in harm.
Diagnostic mistakes occur for a variety of reasons. Misplacing or losing test results is one example. Test results are sometimes read incorrectly. There is also the issue of doctors failing to follow up with a patient. Essentially, whenever visiting a healthcare professional, use these patient safety tips for reducing the risk of misdiagnosis.
Importance of Proving Negligence in a Medical Malpractice Claim Stemming from a Misdiagnosis
Doctors sometimes make mistakes. That in itself doesn’t always mean he/she is liable for a misdiagnosis. But if the doctor was negligent, it could. Different factors will impact this. For instance, symptoms that are common to a certain conditions might suggest running tests. But if the doctor dismisses those symptoms and doesn’t order the tests, it could suggest negligence.
Medical malpractice cases involve a variety of complex issues. An attorney at Gacovino, Lake & Associates can help determine the validity of a claim. If you or a loved one suffered serious illness or injury because of a misdiagnosis, don’t hesitate to seek legal advice by filling out our contact form. It could allow for compensation that covers financial, physical and emotional losses.