Misdiagnosis and Diagnostic Errors at the Center of Many Medical Malpractice Suits

When you go to a doctor, you are assuming that he or she will perform his or her job proficiently and without error. We put a tremendous amount of power and trust in the hands of medical professionals. Unlike many other professions, the decisions that doctors and other healthcare workers make can have life or death consequences. The law, therefore, holds medical professionals to an especially high standard.

Mistakes Diagnosing Patients Can Be Medical Negligence

When a doctor or other medical professional causes a patient injury or harm due to negligence, he or she can be held liable through a personal injury lawsuit. Medical negligence can include many circumstances, but the most common reason for a medical negligence claim is diagnostic errors. Research shows that about a third of medical malpractice claims from 2013-2017 were related to diagnostic mistakes. Claims related to surgical errors and medical management claims were the second and third most common type of malpractice claims during the same time period.

What Is Considered a Diagnostic Error?

Diagnostic error occurs when a physician fails to diagnose a patient, diagnoses a patient with the wrong ailment, or is delayed in diagnosing a patient. The true diagnosis must be detected by some subsequent definitive test or discovery. The subsequent harm from the diagnostic error comes from the patient either not receiving necessary medical treatment or receiving unnecessary treatment.

Laboratory Testing Errors and Incomplete Patient Evaluation Most Common Causes of Misdiagnosis

There are many reasons a person can be misdiagnosed. About 33% of diagnosis-related medical malpractice suits are in response to inadequate patient evaluations. Doctors and nurses must gather information about the patient, his or her medical history, allergies, lifestyle, and family’s medical history in order to have the information they need to accurately diagnosis the patient. Medical professionals who cut corners when gathering patient information can cause that patient to be misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all. A little over half of the diagnostic errors which result in a lawsuit are related to lab testing. Doctors can make mistakes when ordering tests, carrying out the tests, or interpreting the results of the test.

Building a Medical Malpractice Claim

If you or someone you love has suffered due to medical negligence, you need an attorney who can help get you and your family the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced Wheaton medical malpractice attorney from Walsh, Knippen & Cetina, Chartered call 630-462-1980.





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