Some medical conditions have symptoms that are easy to miss symptoms or that are closely related to other conditions. When doctors fail to perform due diligence on testing and reviewing a patient’s medical conditions, a misdiagnosis can occur. A misdiagnosis is a devastating medical error that can cause irreversible harm to a patient and her family. If you believe your condition worsened after a misdiagnosis, you may be eligible to recover compensation. Call a New York medical misdiagnosis lawyer for help.
Common Types of Misdiagnosis
First, it is important to note that there is a difference between a misdiagnosis and a missed diagnosis. A misdiagnosis will often cause patients to receive treatment for another ailment, while a missed diagnosis sends patients home without any treatment or acknowledgment of their condition. Both are cases of medical negligence that a patient can seek compensation for through a medical malpractice lawsuit.
A misdiagnosis can occur because a doctor fails to perform adequate testing for your condition. Many conditions have similar symptoms, and achieving the correct diagnosis requires the proper diagnostic tests. The following are some common cases of misdiagnosis:
- A doctor may diagnose back pain as a back injury rather than a kidney infection or kidney stone.
- A doctor may diagnose chest pains as indigestion or stress when they are signs of a heart attack.
- A doctor may diagnose abdominal pain as food poisoning or menstrual cramps when it is a case of appendicitis.
- A doctor may mistake swollen lymph nodes as an infection rather than a sign of thyroid cancer.
How does misdiagnosis occur and what are the dangers of this error?
When a patient goes to the doctor for an examination, the doctor must make note of any abnormal health concerns the patient brings up or that he discovers. The doctor must follow the medical standard of protocol for investigation of certain symptoms.
If the doctor fails to perform all necessary tests to rule our or confirm conditions with similar symptoms, he can make a misdiagnosis. The dangers of this error will vary from case to case, but almost all cases will result in some form of damages.
The damage done in these cases is two-fold.
First, the patients might start receiving treatment for a condition they do not have. Some treatments can cause serious damage if administered when unnecessary (e.g., chemotherapy).
The second side of the damage is that patients will not be receiving treatment for their actual condition. This delay in treatment can give conditions like cancer more time to metastasize and progress into higher stages.
Identifying a Misdiagnosis and Seeking Damages
It takes more than one doctor to identify and correct a misdiagnosis, and in some cases it will be too late to make a correction. If you are unsure about your diagnosis or do not see positive results with your current treatment, it is advisable to seek a second opinion. During second opinions, many patients find out their original doctor made a misdiagnosis.
Once you are aware of a misdiagnosis, or if a loved one has passed away suspiciously, you should seek the help of a New York medical malpractice attorney. Your attorney can assist you in gathering evidence of the misdiagnosis including omitted or misread tests and the extent of damage done by the improper treatment and delay of correct treatment.
With this evidence, an expert medical witness will help testify that your doctor failed in his standard of acceptable care for your condition, therefore causing your damages. As long as a credible medical expert can vouch that a reasonable doctor would have performed other tests and made the correct diagnosis in your case, you will have the right to pursue compensation for your damages.
Damages in a medical misdiagnosis case might include:
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses both for the wrongful treatment and correct treatment
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Compensation for permanent disability
New Yorkers can rely on the medical misdiagnosis attorneys at Buttafuoco & Associates to guide them through the medical malpractice claims process and begin to seek justice for a case of misdiagnosis. Call 1-800-NOW-HURT or fill out our contact form for a free review of your medical records and consultation regarding your legal rights.