How Misdiagnosis and Delayed Diagnosis Can Cause Harm to Patients
When you visit a doctor, you expect them to properly evaluate your physical condition, listen to your concerns, and determine the best course of treatment to address any issues that affect you. However, if a doctor does not properly assess your condition and identify diseases or other issues that may impact your health and well-being, you may not be able to receive the proper treatment within the right amount of time. In some cases, doctors may misdiagnose a condition, or they may not make the correct diagnosis in time to provide the necessary treatment. This form of medical malpractice is much more prevalent than many people would expect; around 12 million people are misdiagnosed every year in the United States, and one out of every three cases involving misdiagnosis result in serious injuries or wrongful death.
Reasons for Misdiagnosis and Delayed Diagnosis
When a patient is misdiagnosed, they may suffer harm not only because their condition goes untreated, but because they undergo unnecessary treatments that could have a negative effect on their overall health. Delayed diagnosis can also result in serious injuries due to the lack of treatment. For instance, a delayed cancer diagnosis may result in the cancer spreading beyond the point where it can be addressed through treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or surgery.
There are multiple reasons why a patient’s condition may not be diagnosed correctly, including:
- Inexperienced doctors - A physician who is near the beginning of their career may not recognize that a patient’s symptoms indicate a serious condition, or they may fail to consult with other medical professionals or refer patients to providers that can better assess their condition.
- Overworked doctors - At busy hospitals, clinics, or medical offices, doctors may see large numbers of patients in a short amount of time, and this may not give them enough time to fully consult with a patient, assess their symptoms, and diagnose their condition.
- Testing issues - A variety of tests, such as X-rays, MRIs, or blood work, may be performed to gain more information about a patient’s condition. Errors in testing may make it impossible for a doctor to perform a correct diagnosis, or a doctor may fail to properly consider test results and identify concerns that need to be addressed through treatment.
- Failure to consider a patient’s concerns - Patients often have the best understanding of what is or is not normal when it comes to their own bodies, but doctors may discount the symptoms reported by patients or fail to give the proper weight to complaints about pain or discomfort. This issue is a major concern for women and minorities, who are 20-30% more likely to experience misdiagnosis.
Contact Our Kane County Misdiagnosis Injury Lawyers
If you have suffered harm because a doctor did not properly diagnose your condition, the attorneys of Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur P.C. can help you understand your legal options for recovering financial compensation. We will investigate your case and obtain evidence showing that a medical provider acted negligently, and we will fight to make sure you are fully compensated for all the ways your life has been affected. Contact our Aurora medical malpractice attorneys at 630-907-0909 to arrange a free consultation.