We know that you put your trust in the hands of doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals when something is wrong. When you go to the hospital, you do so because you are not feeling well. It can be a scary time. You fully expect that the people working to make you better perform at a high standard, making sure all of the required tests and procedures are done to figure out what is wrong with you. But what happens if they fail to properly diagnose you and your condition worsen?

Injuries sustained from a healthcare provider’s negligence are always tragic. When that claim is based on a medical professional’s misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose, then the result is particularly painful, especially if the diagnosis led to a lifetime injury or death.

If you or your loved one was improperly diagnosed or sustained an injury from a diagnostic error, then you are owed proper compensation. When you need a Norristown failure to diagnose attorney, turn to The Weitz Firm to help you recover the compensation you deserve.

Failure to Diagnose Claims and Causes

When a medical healthcare provider fails to exercise the level of skill, care, and knowledge that a reasonably careful healthcare provider would regularly exercise under the same conditions, then it is likely that diagnosis was the result of negligence, which is medical malpractice. Injuries sustained from a failure to diagnose can result in extensive medical bills and legal action may be justified.

Failure to diagnose and misdiagnosis occurs when a healthcare provider fails to recognize the signs, symptoms, or finding of a disease properly. Diagnostic errors can occur in many ways, including:

  • Radiology misreads: If a physician or radiologist does not use proper care in reading a CT, X-ray, MRI, or another radiological scan, and thus fails to recognize a disease or injury, then this will likely result in a failure to diagnose.
  • Pathology Misreads: A pathologist must correctly interpret a biopsy to properly diagnose a patient, when they fail to do so, this will lead to a misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose.
  • Clinical Diagnostic Errors: When a healthcare provider overlooks a patient’s history, complaints, or does not order proper testing or imagining, this will lead to a misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose.

Human error, sleep deprivation, and time (rushing a patient) are the most common causes that lead to diagnostic failures. Failure to diagnose is caused by misperceptions, misinterpretations, and misunderstandings—all consistent with negligence and medical malpractice claims.

Another common cause of a failure to diagnose is a confirmation basis. This occurs when a health professional thinks they know the answer before conducting any relevant testing or reviewing a patient’s charts. They will likely run all tests necessary to prove that a patient has a specific medication condition. This can lead to unnecessary testing resulting in high medical bills and misdiagnosis or diagnostic failure.

Regardless of how the failure to diagnose occurred, a patient is still owed proper compensation if they receive injury from a health care professional’s diagnostic error.

Occurrence of Failure to Diagnose Incidents

When people think of medical mistakes, they usually think of surgical errors or medicine overdoses, but we found out that is not the most common problem.

How is this for a dose of reality – Johns Hopkins researchers found that diagnostic errors accounted for the largest fraction of medical malpractice claims, the most severe patient harm, and the highest level of penalty payouts.

Diagnostic error – a diagnosis that is missed, wrong, or delayed, as detected by some subsequent definitive test or finding.

Considering that medical errors kill an estimated 250,000 people a year and injure countless others, that means that there are too many diagnostic errors.

Failure to Diagnose in the Emergency Room

When you go to the emergency room, it may be busy. While we understand that ER doctors and nurses have many things to deal with all at once, this should not mean that they forego tests and procedures that they should be performing. It does not mean that they should not get a full patient history.

Overworked and busy doctors and nurses tend to make more diagnostic errors.

If a patient is experiencing dizziness and nausea after they have fallen down, but the doctor only treats their broken wrist, they are potentially missing that the patient may have a brain bleed. Instead of an MRI, the patient gets a splinted extremity when a major medical emergency is happening inside their skull.

Doctors and nurses rarely intentionally cause a patient harm. Rather, it is negligence in performing their everyday duties that change lives.

Seeking Compensation for Failure to Diagnose

Victims who have been injured due to the carelessness or negligence of a healthcare profession that has led to a misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose should be able to recover compensation for their losses.

If you or a loved one has suffered injury from a failure to diagnose, you could have the right to:

  • Coverage of medical expenses
  • Compensation for long-term medical care
  • Lost wages and benefits
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Pain and suffering damages
  • Possible punitive damages

The total amount of compensation will vary from case to case. It is important to track all your injuries and obtain all evidence of those injuries to bring a successful claim to get you the just compensation you deserve.

Hiring a Failure to Diagnose Attorney

When you went to the doctor, whether for a routine checkup or to the hospital for an emergency, the last thing you expected was to get worse. If a healthcare professional fails to diagnose a condition that they should have caught, the consequences can be devastating.

When you need a failure to diagnose attorney in Norristown, you can count on The Weitz Firm to be by your side. Medical mistakes and a failure to diagnose a patient’s condition can lead to long-term consequences or even death. We want to help you recover compensation for the following:

  • Medical costs
  • Lost income if you miss work
  • Pain and suffering damages
  • Punitive damages
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