When we feel sick, we rely on doctors to diagnose our symptoms and recommend treatment to improve our health. Most of the time, healthcare providers properly treat us, restoring our health and healing any injuries, diseases, or conditions. However, when a doctor diagnoses you with the wrong illness or prescribes inappropriate medication, your health could be at serious risk. Many dangers of medical misdiagnosis could result in serious personal injuries, disability, and even death.
Below we will discuss the dangers of a medical misdiagnosis and what you can do if it happens to you or a loved one.
What is a Misdiagnosis?
A medical misdiagnosis is just what it sounds like— a diagnosis that is missed, incorrect, or delayed. Obviously, when an illness goes untreated or is treated incorrectly, it can have several negative consequences for the patient. Additionally, if you are diagnosed with a disease you do not have, you may undergo unnecessary (and costly) medical procedures. Studies have shown that around 12 million diagnostic errors are made in outpatient settings in the U.S. each year, and tens of thousands die as a result.
Some examples of commonly misdiagnosed illnesses/conditions include:
- Breast Cancer
- Celiac Disease
- Cervical Cancer
- Lyme Disease
- Lung Cancer
- Myocardial Infarction (i.e., a heart attack)
- Ovarian Cancer
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Prostate Cancer
- Pulmonary Embolism
- Testicular Cancer
When is a Misdiagnosis is Considered Medical Malpractice?
Medical negligence requires a healthcare provider-patient relationship, breach of the standard of care, and that the breach caused damages/harm. When healthcare providers fail to diagnose serious illnesses or diagnose the wrong condition, it can cause serious harm to their patients. Some examples of situations that constitute medical malpractice include:
- Misreading test results
- Early discharge of a patient
- Delays in treating a patient
- Physicians not checking the work of a nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or nurse
- Performing the wrong tests
- Ignoring patient symptoms
- Failing to refer a patient to a specialist
- Misdiagnosing a malignant condition as a benign one
- Diagnosing a serious condition that the patient does not have
- Radiologist errors
- Rushing or moving too fast
- Inadequate evaluating a patient’s symptoms with test results
- Improper training, education, or supervision
What Should You Do if You or a Loved One Experiences a Medical Misdiagnosis?
If you feel that you or a loved one suffered injury due to a misdiagnosis, you may want to contact an attorney to evaluate your case. Law firms like Cardaro & Peek offer free consultations to learn what your rights may be. An experienced medical malpractice attorney will help you through this tough situation and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Contact The Law Offices of Cardaro & Peek, LLC Today
If you or a loved one were victims of medical malpractice, call our experienced medical malpractice lawyers in Maryland and Washington D.C. for a FREE consultation to learn what your rights to compensation may be. Contact us by calling 410-752-6166 and please visit our website www.cardarolaw.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for more information. We look forward to helping you and your family today.