If you have gone to the doctor with some kind of ailment, you know the process. They will take the time to listen to your symptoms, check you, run some tests, and provide their diagnosis. As the patient, we expect this diagnosis and the recommended treatment to be correct. Unfortunately, medical misdiagnosis is a huge problem and is one of the reasons why medical negligence has risen to be considered the third leading cause of death in the United States. However, not many people understand how serious misdiagnosis is and how it affects the patient.
Because there are countless types of diseases, illnesses, and conditions out there and many of them result in the same symptoms, diagnosing an ailment requires skilled medical professionals. This is what we expect when we go to the doctor. However, it is not uncommon for doctors to make errors, and when they do occur, it can result in the patient suffering further pain and suffering. It is up to the doctor to determine exactly what is wrong with a given set of symptoms. Even when they are non-specific, it is their duty to rule out other illnesses in order to narrow down to a possible diagnosis. If the wrong diagnosis is made, the patient will not receive the correct treatment, possibly resulting in a worsening of their condition.
When a doctor suspects that a patient has a certain ailment, they will often order additional tests in order to confirm their suspicions. Unfortunately, this is where a number of misdiagnosis cases occur –either because the wrong types of tests are ordered or because they are not performed correctly. Another cause for misdiagnosis may be failure to communicate between the different departments at the hospital. For instance, if the nurse takes down the list of symptoms, but doesn’t properly communicate these to the doctor, it could lead to a misdiagnosis.
In some situations, the misdiagnosis can come from the doctor not taking the time to properly listen to the symptoms or having the training to make a proper diagnosis. This sometimes happens when the doctor is trying to see too many patients at one time and simply doesn’t stop to listen to all of the symptoms. This could lead to the patient being prescribed the wrong medication or being released from the hospital without receiving the treatment they need.
When your health is in danger due to the negligence of a medical professional, you need experienced, tenacious representation to help you navigate the complex legal process. At Murphy, Falcon & Murphy, our Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys understand how misdiagnosis can impact a person and what potential dangers they can face. You can trust that our team will put your best interests first as we seek to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. We are here to protect your rights and hold negligent medical professionals accountable for their errors.
Contact our firm today to discuss your potential case.