When you feel ill, you likely go to the doctor and expect to receive a diagnosis and information on treatment options. However, even after going through your treatment regimen, you may find that you still do not feel well. This type of predicament is not altogether uncommon, but it could point to a serious issue regarding medical malpractice: failure to diagnose.
Doctors have a duty to attend to their patients’ health concerns properly, and if they do not correctly diagnose an illness, injury or other condition, patients — yourself included — may suffer unnecessarily. Indeed, a misdiagnosis or lack of diagnosis could result in your health problem worsening, and a potentially treatable issue could turn into a deadly threat. Unfortunately, several causes could contribute to this type of occurrence.
Because it often takes numerous people in order to attend to a single patient, miscommunication sometimes takes place. This issue could result in medical professionals ordering or conducting the wrong tests, delaying testing, misreading results or failing to receive the correct information for a patient. Unfortunately, simply overlooking a piece of information could cause you to face the wrong diagnosis.
Even though most people want a seasoned doctor to conduct their examinations, that experience could sometimes result in overconfidence. Some physicians may believe that their skills allow them to correctly diagnose health issues on the first attempt, and as a result, they may not consider other options.
Relying on statistics
Though many individuals who present similar symptoms may in fact have the same illness, the possibility exists that those same symptoms could point to a completely different health problem. However, some doctors may feel reluctant to offer an alternative diagnosis because they prefer to rely on the statistical evidence that points to the more common problem.
Because medical professionals lead hectic lives and often need to attend to numerous patients a day, they may not spend enough time attempting to determine various possibilities for your issue. Instead, they may assess your symptoms, come up with a diagnosis, prescribe a treatment and move onto another patient. Unfortunately, you could suffer if that diagnosis does not actually fit your illness.
A misdiagnosis of a serious issue, like cancer, could quickly cause your health to decline. If you feel that this problem contributed to your health issues, you may wish to consider your options for seeking compensation. Filing a medical malpractice claim could allow you to take action against the parties considered liable for your misdiagnosis and subsequent damages. Therefore, you may wish to speak with an experienced New York attorney to gain more information.