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What Are the Most Common Reasons for a Medical Misdiagnosis?

Posted on in Medical Malpractice

rockford medical malpractice lawyerWhen patients receive substandard care from doctors or other medical professionals, they can suffer serious harm. While medical malpractice can take many forms, misdiagnosis is one of the most common issues that affect patients in the United States. An incorrect diagnosis, a delayed diagnosis, or a failure to diagnose a serious medical condition can result in a patient not receiving the proper medical care within the right time frame. In cases involving misdiagnosis of cancer or other serious illnesses, the failure to receive timely treatment may result in a person’s wrongful death. By understanding the reasons that misdiagnoses may occur, victims of medical negligence can ensure that their injuries and damages will be addressed properly.

Causes of Misdiagnosis

There are many issues that can increase the likelihood that a patient will not receive the correct diagnosis. When medical providers do not follow standard practices or otherwise fail to provide patients with adequate care and consideration, a misdiagnosis may be considered to be medical negligence. Some common ways that negligence by doctors or staff members can lead to an incorrect diagnosis include:

  • Lack of experience - While doctors may rely on their experience providing treatment for patients as they recognize different symptoms and make a diagnosis, they should also be aware of gaps in their knowledge and cases where they may need assistance from other professionals. A doctor’s failure to refer a patient to another provider that would provide a better understanding of their condition may lead to an incorrect or delayed diagnosis.

  • Lack of time - Medical offices can be very busy, and doctors may see large numbers of patients within a short period of time. Due to scheduling issues and the need to treat as many patients as possible, the time a doctor spends on a single patient may be limited. When doctors do not take the necessary time and effort to fully consider a patient’s symptoms, they may fail to properly diagnose a serious medical condition.

  • Failure to consider patient-reported symptoms - Patients know their own bodies better than anyone else, and their descriptions of their symptoms and the issues they are experiencing should be a crucial component of a diagnosis. However, doctors may sometimes discount a patient’s claims or fail to recognize the severity of the symptoms they have reported, leading to a failure to make a correct diagnosis.

  • Testing issues - Diagnostic tests provide important information to help doctors identify a patient’s health issues and determine the proper treatments. However, if a doctor does not order the proper tests, or if they misinterpret test results, they may make an incorrect diagnosis. Errors during testing, such as switched samples or incorrect recording of information, can also lead to a misdiagnosis.

Contact Our Rockford Misdiagnosis Lawyers

If you have suffered harm because a doctor did not correctly diagnose a health condition, Mannarino & Brasfield, A Division of KJS can help you determine your legal options. We will work to ensure that you will be fully compensated for your injuries and the ways you and your family have been affected by a misdiagnosis. Contact our Winnebago County medical malpractice attorneys at 815-215-7561 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

https://www.healthleadersmedia.com/clinical-care/6-factors-enable-diagnostic-errors

https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/252410/9789241511636-eng.pdf

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK338594/

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