Some medical conditions are obvious. Others are not. For example, emergency room personnel might be able to quickly assess your condition if you show up with a broken leg. But medicine is complicated. Even with a broken leg, medical staff might overlook a hairline fracture or disagree on the best treatments. Less obvious medical issues are even more likely to lead to diagnostic mistakes. Still, you expect your healthcare professionals to act professionally, find out what’s wrong with you and get you feeling better. Sometimes, this does not happen due to medical malpractice.
Are diagnostic mistakes common?
Yes, absolutely. In fact, Medical News Today stated:
“Diagnostic mistakes are the most frequent medical error as well as the most serious.”
Many of the errors were made in what researchers call the big three: “infections, cancers, and vascular events.”
It can be difficult to pin down the exact number of medical diagnostic errors. But the aftereffects can be devastating to patients and their families.
What can happen if a doctor makes a diagnostic error?
Some researchers claim that diagnostic errors harm between 80,000 and 160,000 people every year. And misdiagnosis causes between 40,000 and 80,000 deaths for hospital patients.
Patients might receive the wrong treatment or no treatment at all. For instance, prostate cancer is often underdiagnosed, with delays in treatment forcing patients into harsher treatments that might not even work.
Physicians might take a haphazard look at a patient’s test results. Overlooking the results of tests designed to help doctors make a diagnosis can lead to misdiagnosis or underdiagnosis. It may be difficult to exam patients and come up with the right diagnosis, but that is your healthcare professional’s job.
What can I do if I learn that a doctor has made a mistake in my case?
Finding out your physician made a diagnostic error can be devastating. However, it is important that you protect your rights, including your right to compensation for any harm caused by your doctor’s failure to provide the right standard of care to you.
We urge you to contact a medical malpractice attorney to discuss your case as soon as you feel something has gone wrong. Your lawyer can help assess your situation and review your options.
Have you been hurt by diagnostic mistakes?
If you are interested in the matters discussed in this blog, be sure to call us for a free consultation or leave a comment.
At the Dailey Law Firm, P.C., our team of skilled lawyers and professionals provide the high-quality legal services you need. Call us at 844-342-5353 to set up a free consultation or use the Contact Form on our website. There’s no fee for personal injury cases unless we win.
We represent clients throughout the entire United States. You can reach us online or visit one of our offices in Detroit, MI; Chicago, IL; or Valparaiso, IN.