Medical Misdiagnoses Can Have Serious Consequences
When you visit a doctor due to an illness or medical problem, your expectation is that your healthcare provider will be able to properly diagnose your condition, conduct further tests, or refer you to another medical expert to determine what is wrong. Unfortunately, there are times when an incorrect diagnosis occurs, which in turn can lead to improper treatment, serious complications, and an escalation of the original malady. In fact, many missed diagnoses are for serious conditions such as stroke and heart attack, which can rapidly lead to permanent harm or even death. If you have been diagnosed incorrectly and it has led to serious complications you may want to investigate whether the error was preventable, in which case you may be able to make a claim for medical malpractice.
Some Diseases and Conditions That May Be Misdiagnosed
Unfortunately almost any disease or medical condition can potentially be misdiagnosed. However, some of the most common and/or serious conditions that are misdiagnosed include the following:
- Heart Attack – May be labeled as simple indigestion or another benign condition
- Appendicitis – Diagnosis is often challenging due to the location of pain
- Stroke – Often misdiagnosed in young adults or others who don’t fit the typical profile
- Pulmonary Embolism – Common labels include pneumonia or heart attack
- Lyme Disease – Symptoms vary, often making it difficult to correctly diagnose
How a Misdiagnosis May Happen
When a patient goes in for an appointment with a number of symptoms, doctors and other healthcare professionals have a variety of diagnostic equipment and exams that they can use. A misdiagnosis can occur for a number of reasons. For example, the doctor may not take the time to fully listen to the patient in regards to their medical history and/or symptoms and as a result, the right test may not be ordered. This may happen because the doctor is busy, tired, distracted, or any number of other reasons. It’s also possible that the doctor may lack the skills and experience needed to recognize the condition, or dismiss it under the assumption that it is too rare to be the culprit.
There are often many different healthcare professionals working at any given time which increases the risk of miscommunication among them. Lab results may be lost or mixed up with someone else’s, and diagnostic reports may be misinterpreted. In some of these situations, medical negligence may be found if the patient experiences additional damage because of it. Another serious danger is that the real underlying condition will go untreated.
Contact McGehee ☆ Chang, Barnes, Landgraf for Help
If you or a loved one has suffered due to medical malpractice stemming from a medical misdiagnosis, McGehee ☆ Chang, Barnes, Landgraf is here to help. We will carefully review your case to determine your options and we will guide you through the process of getting the legal justice that you need and deserve. Set up a consultation with us today by calling 713-864-4000.