We trust our doctors with our health. When we tell them about a problem, we expect they’ll use their extensive training and related experience to diagnose our issues properly. Unfortunately, mistakes happen. Not all misdiagnoses involve legal liability, but many do.
According to this study, “Missed vascular events, infections, and cancers account for ~75% of serious harms from diagnostic errors.” These categories are referred to as the “Big Three,” and make up nearly half of all misdiagnosis-related malpractice claims. The false negative rates ranged from 2.2 percent (myocardial infarction) to 62.1 percent (spinal abscess).
If your doctors misdiagnosed your condition, especially one of the Big Three, you may have a medical malpractice claim. Read on to learn more, then call the Law Offices of Tim Misny for more information.
How misdiagnosis happens
Misdiagnosis can happen for many reasons. Some of the most common include:
- Fragmented care: It’s common to visit specialists for certain medical conditions, but that can lead to a disconnect between general practitioners, specialists and patients. With multiple doctors handling different treatments and diagnostic tests, doctors may miss major symptoms or believe another doctor is handling it.
- Lack of diagnostic tests: Often, insurance companies won’t cover diagnostic tests, and patients are unable or unwilling to pay out of pocket. In other situations, a doctor may simply fail to see the necessity or believe the problem lies elsewhere.
- Physician inexperience or overconfidence: Physician inexperience and overconfidence can underscore these other factors, especially failing to order diagnostic tests. A doctor may not have enough experience with certain conditions to recognize symptoms, or erroneously attribute the symptoms to another condition.
- Failure to spend enough time with the patient: As a result of high demand for medical services, doctors rarely spend more than 15 minutes with patients at a time. That means there’s less time to describe your symptoms, express concerns or give feedback about previous treatments.
- Lack of follow-up: Finally, whether a patient is referred elsewhere, sees a new doctor or is simply waiting for direction, doctors frequently put the burden of follow-up on patients. The patient’s new doctor may not catch the previous symptoms, or the patient may believe they’re fine unless they hear otherwise.
All of these factors can lead to serious misdiagnoses. In turn, a patient’s condition may worsen to where it’s significantly more difficult or expensive to treat. In some cases, the disease may be too advanced to treat. Having an experienced medical malpractice attorney on your side can help recover compensation for your losses.
Discuss with your claim with an Ohio medical malpractice lawyer today
The Law Offices of Tim Misny can help you with your medical malpractice misdiagnosis case. If you were the victim of someone else’s negligence or recklessness, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my office at (800) 556-4769 so that I can evaluate your case right away.