When you have the symptoms of an illness, you put trust in your doctor to examine you and figure out the cause of your symptoms. Unfortunately, doctors make mistakes and may not always make the correct medical decisions. When a doctor’s mistake amounts to a missed diagnosis or a misdiagnosis, it could constitute medical malpractice. While missed diagnosis and misdiagnosis sound very similar, there is a meaningful difference.
Missed diagnosis is sometimes referred to as a failure to diagnose or a delayed diagnosis. It occurs when a doctor fails to identify an illness or condition when presented with it. For instance, a person comes into the emergency room with chest pain and anxiety. If a doctor fails to recognize the symptoms of a heart attack, then that doctor has missed an important diagnosis. As a result, the patient doesn’t receive the critical treatment they need, and the condition can worsen and cause more serious injury.
When you go to a doctor with symptoms, you assume that they will run the correct diagnostic tests and determine your condition so that you can receive the appropriate treatment. Sometimes the symptoms of one illness look similar to the symptoms of something else, and if a doctor fails to ask more questions, run additional tests, and thoroughly consult your medical history, it can result in a patient being misdiagnosed with an illness that they do not have.
Misdiagnosis means that a doctor has diagnosed a patient with a condition that they don’t have. This can be dangerous because it can result in ineffective, unnecessary, and sometimes unsafe treatment. In addition, the wasted time treating the incorrect condition can result in a worsening of the actual condition from which the patient suffers. After a misdiagnosis is discovered, often precious time, money, and resources have been wasted, and it may be too late to treat the actual condition.
Some people assume that missed diagnoses and misdiagnoses are just a normal part of the healthcare process. However, if a doctor fails to adhere to the appropriate standard of care and their negligence causes injury, they should be held legally responsible. A missed diagnosis or a misdiagnosis can be financially, physically, and emotionally draining for a patient and their family and a doctor should be held responsible for negligence.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
If you’ve been injured due to a missed diagnosis or a misdiagnosis, it is important to have an experienced medical malpractice attorney evaluate your case. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping New Yorkers injured by the negligence of doctors. Contact us onlineor call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.