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Misdiagnosis: Why It’s Important for Doctors to Get It Right

by The Beasley Firm  |  August 15, 2018  |  

When someone goes into a hospital for something health related, they’re putting their trust into the hands of a doctor or other health care provider. They trust that a medical professional will be there to help them after an injury or in the event they develop a condition.

The doctor has a responsibility to properly diagnose a patient based on their knowledge of health and of the patient’s symptoms. Unfortunately, they don’t always make the correct assumptions, diagnosing the patient incorrectly. In fact, misdiagnosis is not limited to traditional hospital settings, and sports medicine misdiagnosis happens frequently too.

It’s important for doctors to get the correct diagnosis, otherwise there can be significant problems.

Wrong Treatment

If a doctor misdiagnoses a patient, there is a large risk that the patient may receive the incorrect treatment. This can include:

  • Delayed diagnosis of cancer: too often, radiologic studies such as a mammogram, chest x-ray or CT Scan are misread and a treatable cancer is missed until it is too late.
  • Failure to diagnose a developing heart attack
  • Failure to appreciate fetal distress in a laboring patient
  • Failure to diagnose a developing stroke
  • Failure to diagnose deep vein thrombosis/pulmonary embolism until it was too late
  • Wrong site surgery: If a patient is misdiagnosed, they may perform surgery on a part of the body that doesn’t need it, resulting in potential long-term damage.
  • Wrong prescriptions: A misdiagnosis could mean that the patient gets the wrong prescription. This could be dangerous if they have an allergic reaction or if the dosage is too much for the patient.

Receiving incorrect treatment can be damaging to a person’s entire life, making this an important step for doctors to get correct.

Missed Treatment

In some cases, a misdiagnosis can mean that the patient doesn’t get necessary treatments in a timely fashion. For instance, if the patient has signs and symptoms of a heart attack, stroke, or a developing infection, and the health care provider doesn’t properly diagnose and treat these conditions, patients can suffer permanent injuries or even death.

Long-Term Damages

Without proper treatment, a condition that goes misdiagnosed can worsen, resulting in long-term damages from which the patient may never recover. This is a serious situation that occurs far too often and is a major cause of advanced cancers, cardiac damage or strokes. Patients must recognize that they have rights and may be able to seek legal action against the negligent medical professional.

At The Beasley Firm, our Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers work hard to represent victims who have been harmed in a medical facility. Our goal is to help seek the compensation and justice our clients need and deserve.

Call our firm if you feel you may have a case.

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