Serving The Injured In New York And Pennsylvania

What causes misdiagnosis?

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2024 | Medical Malpractice

A doctor’s failure to diagnose your medical condition can have tragic consequences. It can allow your condition to fester and worsen, leaving you with more pain, an advanced condition, and a poorer prognosis. In the worst cases, those who are subjected to this type of medical malpractice end up dying because they’re prevented from securing the treatment they need. And even those who are fortunate enough to survive are forced to suffer additional damage to their physical and mental health, as well as their financial stability.

What’s even more worrisome is the frequency with which misdiagnosis occurs. According to one study, as many as 12 million people are negatively impacted by this type of medical error each year, with as many as 80,000 individuals dying each year from misdiagnosis. But why is misdiagnosis so common? Let’s take a closer look.

Why medical misdiagnosis is so common

There are several contributing factors to medical misdiagnosis. This includes:

  • Miscommunication: Comprehensive medical care often requires multiple providers, careful review of your medical records, and clear communication during surgery. This is difficult for providers to do when there are so many hands in the pot. Yet, overlooking one key detail can lead to a missed diagnosis or the wrong diagnosis.
  • Lack of face-to-face time with patients: Many medical professionals are overworked, with far more patients to see than the time in the day will allow. Therefore, these medical professionals often don’t have the luxury of spending the time needed with patients to truly assess their condition, order proper testing, and provide an accurate diagnosis.
  • Overconfidence: Some medical providers, especially those who have been around for a while, are too confident in their opinions. As a result, they don’t seek out alternative explanations or assess other possibilities. This puts you at risk of being misdiagnosed.
  • Inexperience: On the other hand, newer doctors may not have the experience needed to properly analyze your symptoms and your medical history. They also might fail to realize when they should order follow up testing, and they could misinterpret test results. Any mistake along the way could be detrimental to you and your health.
  • Improper testing practices: For test results to be accurate, certain protocols have to be followed from sample collection to storage and processing. Failing to stick to applicable practices can compromise test results, which put your medical condition at risk of being missed, thereby allowing it to worsen.

What should you do if you suspect that you’ve been harmed by medical malpractice?

If you think that your medical provider has failed to properly diagnose your medical condition, then you should seek prompt follow up care from a new provider. Be sure to obtain your medical records and any recommendations made by your initial provider, too, so that you can capture their wrongdoing and bring it to the attention of your new provider. Also, track any harm that’s come to you as a result of the failure to diagnose. Then, it may be time to talk about a medical malpractice lawsuit with your attorney.

Medical malpractice can devastate life as you know it. Don’t let your doctor get away with that. Instead, seek accountability by pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit. If you’re successful here, then you might be able to obtain a sense of justice and recoup the money you need to offset the financial harm that’s been caused to you.