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Medical Malpractice & Misdiagnoses

Medical Malpractice & Misdiagnoses

We are all patients at some point, especially if we are smart and go to the doctor for our annual physicals and when we are sick and need treatment. As a patient, one of the scariest concepts is doing the right thing and seeing your doctor, only for him or her to misdiagnose a serious medical condition. Delayed diagnoses can be just as bad.

Can you imagine feeling sick and going to a doctor with your complaints, and the doctor diagnoses you with something minor, only for you to find out later that it was really cancer? And, what if by the time you found out what it really was, the cancer was untreatable? It can be heartbreaking when patients do everything right, only for them to go home with misdiagnoses, especially when it leads to a preventable death.

Commonly Misdiagnosed Conditions

Unfortunately, some illnesses are difficult for doctors to diagnose. According to AARP, the seven illnesses and conditions that are commonly misdiagnosed, include:

  1. Lupus, which is a chronic inflammatory disease.
  2. Parkinson’s disease, which is a central nervous system disorder.
  3. Fibromyalgia, which is a chronic disorder characterized by pain all over the body.
  4. Lyme disease, which is a systemic infection caused by tick bites.
  5. Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that attacks the central nervous system.
  6. Celiac disease, which involves the inability to digest gluten.
  7. Chronic fatigue system, of which the cause is unknown.

Doctors are not legally responsible for all diagnoses errors. In order for a patient to prevail in a misdiagnoses claim, the patient must prove the doctor was negligent and the doctor’s negligence led to the patient’s injury.

The question is, was the doctor acting competently? If another doctor in the same specialty, under the same circumstances would not have misdiagnosed the condition, the doctor may have made a mistake. Sometimes though, the doctor was not the one who made the mistake, but the real issue lied in inaccurate test results. Test results can come back wrong when the diagnostic equipment was faulty, or when there was human error.

What kind of human error? There are many ways: The patient’s samples could have been mixed up or contaminated. The technician could have not followed proper procedure. The test results could have been read wrong, or the specialists could have missed something important that was apparent on a pathology slide or X-ray.

We are only scratching the surface when it comes to misdiagnoses or delayed diagnoses. To learn more about filing a medical malpractice claim, contact us directly.

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