Delayed Diagnosis

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Delayed Diagnosis

Delayed diagnosis occurs when a patient’s health issue or concern is not diagnosed in a reasonable timeframe, worsening their health condition or causing death. It is important to note that a delayed diagnosis is not the same as when a patient is aware of their condition but fails to seek medical treatment. Delayed diagnosis is also not the same as missed diagnosis. The difference is that in a missed diagnosis a patient sought after medical care or treatment and the treating hospital or physician failed to diagnose the condition.

Medical Negligence in Delay in Treatment

Delay in treatment occurs when a patient does not receive treatment or testing within the appropriate timeframe it had been ordered for them. A delay in treatment could pose serious consequences to the patient. Delay in treatment can include but is not limited to delays in:

  • Lab tests
  • Medication
  • Physical therapy

Delay in treatment can also include failing to receive an initial or follow-up appointment in a timely manner.

When Delayed Diagnosis is Medical Malpractice

When doctors or other healthcare providers act negligently, they should be held accountable and face consequences for their actions. However, delayed diagnosis is not always a type of medical malpractice. A physician commits medical malpractice if he or she violates the standard of medical care that a patient is owed. As mentioned above, if a patient does not seek medical care once they have received a diagnosis, then a doctor cannot be held responsible for failure to make a diagnosis. Otherwise stated, malpractice only occurs when a patient suffers harm or injury that he or she would not have suffered without the act of negligence by the healthcare professional.

Why Does Delayed Diagnosis Occur?

Medical mistakes sometimes happen without negligence; however, if several errors occur, it can lead to delayed diagnosis. Delayed diagnosis can happen when a patient communicates their symptoms to the doctor, and the doctor dismisses them and does not take them into account for a diagnosis. Delayed diagnosis is also a result of:

  • Test results being lost or incorrectly collected
  • Something is noted abnormal, but the doctor does not order further tests
  • Doctor fails to refer patient to a specialist when symptoms or signs indicate he/she should their condition is more serious
  • Further questions should have been asked by the doctor but were not

Delay of Diagnosis or Care Lawsuit

Doctors can be sued for failing to diagnose or provide care in a timely manner. To file a delayed diagnosis lawsuit, the following components are needed to prove there was medical malpractice:

  • An established doctor-patient relationship
  • Doctor notices abnormal levels during a routine blood check but does not order testing
  • Patient’s lab work is lost or conducted incorrectly
  • Doctor failure to refer patient to specialist
  • Your injuries were a direct result of your doctor’s delayed diagnosis

A medical malpractice attorney experienced in delayed diagnosis lawsuits can help victims get the compensation they need to cover their damages by gathering evidence, hiring expert witnesses and negotiating fair settlement. If needed, they can also represent the patient in the courtroom.

Contact a Delayed Diagnosis Attorney Today

The medical malpractice attorneys at Wilson Kehoe Winingham have decades of experience in restoring the lives of our injured clients. If you or a loved one have suffered from delayed diagnosis, contact the lawyers at WKW. We can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out a contact form for free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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