Medical professionals must uphold a certain standard of care. Patients that seek medical treatment for moderate to severe symptoms should receive an accurate diagnosis as a result of their doctor’s comprehensive and careful efforts.
Though misdiagnosed conditions are often not the fault of the care provider, in some instances they are the result of negligence and malpractice. Misdiagnosed individuals may receive improper treatment, delayed solutions and even face long-term health consequences.
What is a misdiagnosis?
Doctors and specialists are responsible for accurately assessing a patient’s symptoms and ordering the right tests in order to arrive at a diagnosis. In ideal conditions, medical providers follow the acceptable standards of care to make an accurate assessment with the information provided through test results and by the patient. In others, medical providers apply an incorrect diagnosis or failure to diagnose a condition altogether.
What are the dangers of misdiagnosis?
Many illnesses require proper testing and treatment in order to preserve the health and safety of the patient. Aggressive conditions that require prompt care can cause significant health complications, and even death when misdiagnosed or ignored. Undiagnosed or misdiagnosed conditions, including cancer, heart attacks, strokes or coronary artery disease, cause prolonged suffering and may require more serious intervention if left untreated for too long.
When is a misdiagnosis considered malpractice?
Medical providers are liable for misdiagnosis when it was the result of negligence or improper care, including surgical errors, ignoring symptoms, inadequate follow-up care, misreading test results, disregarding patient history, failure to order tests or improper medication and treatment.
Patients can expect a certain standard of care from their healthcare providers. When this is absent, it may be cause for a medical malpractice claim.