Diagnosis related errors are more common than most of us want to ever think about. In fact, there are more malpractice suits filed as a result of diagnosis errors than nearly any other type of malpractice suit in the United States.
Diagnosis Mistakes: They Can be Malpractice
Imagine going to your doctor because you have specific symptoms and they tell you that you are suffering from the flu, pneumonia or another respiratory illness and you find out later that you actually have lung cancer. The delay in diagnosing your condition also means a delay in obtaining the correct treatment. Some studies show that more than ten percent of all medical errors are as a result of diagnosis problems including:
- Making the wrong diagnosis – you have symptoms that could mean more than one problem and you are diagnosed incorrectly.
- Delayed diagnosis – heart issues, cancer or other illnesses that are not diagnosed immediately can result in additional health problems and in very serious cases, even death.
- Emergency room diagnosis – many of us have to depend on emergency rooms for after hour care when we suddenly develop scary symptoms. Unfortunately, these facilities are equipped to deal with sudden illness and not necessarily equipped to make an accurate diagnosis. Some studies show that appendicitis is diagnosed incorrectly in more than one-half of children under the age of 12 and pulmonary embolism, meningitis and heart attacks may also be regularly misdiagnosed in an emergency room.
These are only a few of the cases when a mistake in diagnosis can occur and when you, or a family member, is a victim of medical malpractice. All caused by a doctor’s failure to diagnose an illness because they did not run the right tests or understand all of your symptoms.
When your life, or the life of a family member, has been put in jeopardy because a doctor did not properly diagnose an illness or disease, contact Wilson Kehoe Winingham for a free case evaluation.