According to a research study by BMJ Quality and Safety and broadcast on NBC National News, the rate of misdiagnosis has been increasing over time to a

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point now where 1 out of 20 patients will be misdiagnosed by their doctor. Statistics also show that one-third of all medical malpractice cases now being filed are due to diagnosis errors.

Five Common Forms Of Misdiagnosis

Misdiagnosis is a serious failure on the part of a medical care provider. Many people who have been medically misdiagnosed, may, as a consequence of the misdiagnosis, suffer from additional complications from their illness, endure incorrect treatment with potentially harmful side effects, and some may even be the victim of a wrongful death because their condition was improperly treated.

Misdiagnosis falls into five categories. Your medical malpractice attorney will tell you which one(s) your case may fall under during your initial consultation.

Failure to Diagnose – The doctor diagnoses a medical condition but fails to diagnose related conditions that they should have been aware of based on the initial diagnoses.
Missed Diagnosis – Patient is told that they are healthy when, in fact, they have a disease or disorder that requires treatment.
Incorrect Diagnosis – The doctor declares the wrong illness based on the symptoms and begins treatment based on the erroneous diagnosis.
Delayed Diagnosis – A significant delay in diagnosing the patient that should have been avoided.
Failure to Recognize Complications of Disorder or Treatment – The doctor, gives a correct diagnosis but fails to consider other complications or conditions related to the illness or treatment, and it worsens the condition of the illness.

There are many reasons that misdiagnosis can happen. Some of the most common causes include:

Failure to read the medical charts and listen to the patient in their entirety. Many doctors become too hurried to take the necessary time to care for the patient.
Test results are misinterpreted. If a patent has all the warning signs of a disorder, and the lab results show something else, the doctor should feel obligated to run more tests, rerun tests, or investigate the contradicting results.
Failure to administer or request the proper testing. Overlooking necessary tests are one of the leading causes of misdiagnosis.
Failure to recommend a specialist. Every doctor cannot know everything. If the doctor is stumped by the symptoms or test results, they should send their patient to a specialist. Ignoring the conflicting information or not understanding the test results does not give doctors a reason to declare that nothing is wrong with the patient.

Speak To A Medical Malpractice Attorney About Your Condition

If you believe that you or your loved one has been injured due to a medical misdiagnosis, you may have the right to sue for compensation. Your losses, such as lost income and medical care costs are recoverable from the responsible party. Injured parties also have the right to seek non-economic damages for pain and suffering and emotional duress in this type of lawsuit.

To qualify for a medical malpractice suit, your lawyer will have to establish the following:

Doctor-Patient Relationship. Your attorney must be able to show that the doctor was providing your care and was the person in charge of making your diagnosis.
Negligence Occurred – Generally, a Medical Malpractice Attorney will work to establish that other medical professionals under similar circumstances would have made a different diagnosis than the one made by your healthcare professional.
Harm – That you were harmed by the misdiagnosis and that the harm could have been prevented if the right diagnosis had been given.

Once your attorney has established these facts, they may choose to file a lawsuit on your behalf against the doctor for medical malpractice.

All medical malpractice lawsuits are subject to the Statute of Limitations. It is vital that you speak to an attorney as soon as possible after the event has occurred to avoid losing your right to seek compensation.

Contact Kellum Law Firm today if you believe you may be a victim of medical malpractice, your first consultation is free and there are no obligations to retain our services after your free consultation.

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