Misdiagnosis or Failure to Diagnose
Diagnosis errors are the number one medical mistake to occur in medicine. A patient’s complaint could often be a symptom of more than one disease, and it’s not reasonable to expect doctors to make the right diagnosis the first time every time. However, it is reasonable to expect them to practice with the skill and care required of other doctors in the field with the same level of education and training. This includes taking time in the diagnostic process, paying attention to patient complaints, and acting reasonably to come up with an accurate diagnosis.
Diagnosis errors are especially dangerous because they allow the patient’s real condition to go untreated and worsen. Cancer that could have been cured if caught early now spreads and becomes terminal, or a patient misdiagnosed with gastric distress has a heart attack. In other situations, a patient gets treated for the wrong condition which causes its own set of problems and additional injuries for the patient.
At Bertling Law Group, our attorneys are knowledgable about the medical and legal standards that doctors, nurses and hospitals must follow when providing patient care. We know how to determine when those standards have or haven’t been met, and we know the steps required to hold negligent health care providers accountable for their missteps and the harm they have caused.
Diagnosis errors can be reduced or eliminated in hospitals and clinics if the proper steps are taken. Our law practice is devoted to shining a light on hospital failures so those errors can be corrected and patient outcomes can be improved for everyone. At the same time, we work to ensure that patients harmed by malpractice get the proper medical care and the compensation they need and deserve to deal with the harm that has been done to them.
Call Bertling Law Group if you believe a misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose your condition caused an additional or irreparable injury that could have been avoided. We’ll work with you to find answers to your questions about what went wrong and obtain maximum compensation for your injuries. Call 844-295-7558 for a free consultation. We represent patients throughout Southern California as well as veterans and active duty military with VA or DOD malpractice claims nationwide.
How Can Misdiagnosis Errors Be Prevented?
A differential diagnosis is something every doctor-to-be learns in medical school. It involves conducting a thorough medical examination, taking a patient’s history, and performing the necessary tests to rule out certain conditions and eventually arrive at an accurate diagnosis. Sometimes the patient’s symptoms could lead to different and equally plausible diagnoses, and it’s not necessarily malpractice if the doctor chooses the wrong one. But medical mistakes and negligence that cause a misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose cannot be ignored. Here are some of the ways they happen and how they could be avoided:
Doctors in a busy ER or facing a crowded waiting room in their clinic rush through the diagnostic process in order to see as many patients as possible. Facilities need to be adequately staffed with efficient procedures that allow doctors to pay sufficient attention to the diagnostic process.
Medical practices and insurance companies discourage expensive tests to contain costs. Doctors should have the authority to order appropriate tests without being pressured or worrying about costs.
A radiologist or lab tech performs a test improperly, or a doctor or technician misreads the lab or test results. Hospitals should provide their staff with the training they need to stay current and updated on medical diseases and diagnostic tools.
Nurses fail to call a doctor, or doctors fail to call a specialist for a consult when presented with a difficult case. Hospitals and clinics should encourage communication between doctors and nurses and among different departments at the facility.
Doctors and nurses might rather hide their mistakes than deal with them openly. Hospitals can foster an environment that encourages error reporting and productive ways to make the practice of medicine better in future cases.
Diagnostic medical equipment is obsolete or doesn’t get the regular maintenance it needs to be accurate and working properly. Hospital budgets should never neglect necessary equipment maintenance and upgrades.
What Kinds of Conditions Get Misdiagnosed?
Certain conditions show up more often than others in the medical literature and malpractice claims as being the subject of a misdiagnosis. The medical community could take notice of this fact and work to relieve the misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose errors that plague these serious and deadly conditions:
- Heart attack
- Post-operative complications, including infections and hemorrhages
- Kidney disease
- Organ damage due to surgical negligence
Get Help Today for Misdiagnosis or Failure to Diagnose Errors
Because certain conditions can be difficult to diagnose and others are commonly misdiagnosed, doctors, hospitals and their insurers can be quick to claim that no malpractice occurred in a given situation. This may or may not be the case, but you deserve to know. We can help you find answers to your questions by conducting an investigation, consulting with medical experts, reviewing records and talking to medical staff. If you were harmed by a negligent misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose, the responsible parties owe it to you to compensate you for the harm they caused through their negligence. Our law firm is devoted to making that happen.
If you have questions about a possible misdiagnosis or other medical malpractice at a California hospital, or at a VA medical center or outpatient site or a military hospital or clinic anywhere in the United States, call Bertling Law Group at 844-295-7558 for a free consultation. There’s no fee if we can’t recover compensation for you.