A typical form of medical error is the failure to diagnose a medical condition or the misdiagnosis of symptoms. Once warning signs or symptoms are apparent, it is vital for the patient that the doctor diagnose the condition promptly. When there is a misdiagnosis, the patient can suffer for years.
Misdiagnosis can lead to incorrect treatments, wrong drugs being prescribed, or a treatment that worsens the patients’ condition. Misdiagnosis leads to the illness being left untreated, ultimately leading to further injuries or wrongful death.
The most common way medical misdiagnosis occurs is when the doctor neglects to give their full attention to the patient. This usually happens when the doctor fails to recognize the complaints of the patient. An injured patient could file a medical malpractice lawsuit if injuries have occurred due to a misdiagnosis.
Here are the most common forms of medical misdiagnosis.
When a medical professional fails to identify the symptoms of a stroke, the patient could suffer an injury or even die. If this happens, the patient or the family can file a medical negligence or malpractice lawsuit. The earlier symptoms of a stroke are noticed, the sooner treatment can begin, resulting in a high chance of a full recovery. Once the patient has a stroke, blood supply and oxygen to the brain are blocked. Lack of oxygen to the brain can cause nerve and brain damage. However, early treatment with drugs that bust the clot can restore blood flow to the brain. Failing to diagnose a stroke properly can lead to permanent and lifelong injuries.
Some injuries of a stroke include:
- Weakness or paralysis on one side of their body
- Reduced ability to speak or understand speech
- Reduced mental capacity
- Loss or reduced motor skills
- Loss or reduced senses
Misdiagnosis of Cancer
Like any other illness, the sooner cancer is detected, the better the possibilities for a full recovery. If cancer is misdiagnosed, it won’t be treated and will continue to grow. Once the cancer is diagnosed at a later time, it could be late for treatment. Extensive and painful treatments may not be necessary if cancer is diagnosed at an early stage. There are various reasons why cancer is misdiagnosed:
- Failure to accurately interpret or identify the symptoms reported by the patient
- Failing to administer mammograms, prostate exams, cervical exams at the correct time intervals
- Failure to identify visible cancer cells during an exam for skin cancer
- Failing to perform biopsies
- Failure to accurately evaluate diagnostic test results and recognize a malignant tumor
- Failure to promptly respond to irregular test results and begin necessary treatment
Heart Attack Misdiagnosis
Heart attack symptoms often get dismissed as digestion issues or anxiety. A misdiagnosis can cause permanent damage and even cause death. Once a patient reports symptoms of a heart attack, the medical professional should promptly administer tests and procedures to avoid serious injuries or death. Tests include echocardiograms, electrocardiograms, coronary artery disease tests, stress tests, cardiac enzyme tests, and angiograms. Typical heart attack symptoms include:
- Chest pain feeling like a burning sensation
- Lightheadedness or fainting
- Back, arm, or shoulder pain
- Shortness of breath
Untreated infections can injure or kill a patient if they are not promptly diagnosed and treated. When a medical professional fails to diagnose an infection that leads to a catastrophic injury or wrongful death, the patient or the family can file a medical negligence or malpractice lawsuit. Bedsore infections are often misdiagnosed in nursing homes. If bedsore infections are ignored, it can lead to amputation or even death. Additionally, if an infection is properly diagnosed, but the doctor prescribes the wrong medication causing an injury, the patient can file a medical negligence or malpractice lawsuit. Victims of infection misdiagnoses have a legal right to seek compensation for:
- Past and future medical bills
- Pain, suffering, disability, and disfigurement
- Past and future lost wages
- Bodily Injuries
Contact a Medical Misdiagnosis Attorney
Medical malpractice cases are complex and should be handled by an attorney. If you or a loved one has been injured or has died from an injury caused by a medical professional, it could be the result of medical malpractice or negligence. We recommend you contact us immediately for a free case evaluation. CALL US ANYTIME (281) 475-4535 or fill out a consultation form here to start the process.