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Diagnostic errors and the harms caused to patients

| Apr 21, 2021 | Medical Malpractice

It is easy to place trust in medical professionals, as they have undergone the education and training to provide them with the skills and knowledge to help patients. This is why most patients will put their lives in the hand of a doctor or surgeon. When it an individual is injured or suffering from an ailment, he or she will likely reach out to a medical professional to diagnose and treat them. This process can go very well, with a patients diagnosed, treated and well again. However, it can also go poorly due to medical errors and mistakes, especially in the diagnostic phase.

Diagnostic errors

It is not always east to determine what is wrong when it comes to a medical ailment or condition. Thus, a medical professional is tasked with conducting diagnostic to determine what illness or condition an individual is suffering from. But a diagnosis does not mean that a doctor has got it right. In fact, errors could occur, leading to a misdiagnosis.

A misdiagnosis means that the medical professional was wrong when establishing what illness or condition a patient is suffering from. This could have great harm on the patient, causing the current medical condition to worsen, delay the correct diagnosis for the current medical condition and even result in additional harm, new medical conditions or even the death of the patient.

Frequently misdiagnosed conditions

Roughly 1 in 20 patients are misdiagnosed. While this means that medical professionals have a 95% success rate, it also means that patients could suffer from an illness that will go untreated. There are certain conditions that are more prone to misdiagnoses or delayed diagnoses. This includes asthma, heart attacks, Lyme disease, Parkinson’s and Lupus. A misdiagnosis is medical malpractice, and a patient has the right and ability to take action after suffering from a diagnostic error.

When medical errors occur, a patient could suffer tremendously. A diagnostic error, such as a misdiagnosis or a delay diagnosis, could result in a patient suffering from a worsened condition or a new medical condition. This could cause the patient to require additional medical care or even cost them their life. Thus, it is important to understand one’s rights and options when it comes to filing a medical malpractice action. This not only help protect the rights of a patient, but also helps hold a negligent party accountable and address the damages caused by the matter.