We are taught from a young age to trust medical professionals, but unfortunately, medical misdiagnosis is incredibly common. A study from the peer-reviewed journal BMJ Quality and Safety reports that each year, 12 million adults are misdiagnosed and 28 percent of misdiagnoses result in situations that are “life-threatening or life-altering.”
At Buttafuoco & Associates, we see these types of cases all too often: a cancer was missed, or a serious lung infection was written off as something as minor as a cold.
After a medical misdiagnosis, many people wonder if their case is serious enough to constitute a lawsuit, and many more move on without fighting for the quality medical treatment they deserve. This often leaves people with significant financial and health burdens. If you feel that you may have been misdiagnosed, it is essential that you reach out to a medical misdiagnosis attorney in Northern New Jersey right away. I’ll tell you more about this serious issue below.
What is Medical Misdiagnosis?
There are several scenarios that can lead to malpractice suits including wrong diagnosis, and delayed diagnosis. In misdiagnosis, a doctor incorrectly diagnoses a patient with a medical condition. This often results in the patient receiving unnecessary, harmful, or ineffective treatment.
Another common situation that leads to medical malpractice claims is missed diagnosis, where a medical professional diagnoses a serious condition as something common and unharmful. This can involve anything from dismissing a patient’s symptoms to diagnosing a cancer as something benign. On a related note, if a patient sees that their condition is getting worse and their doctor dismisses it, this could also be grounds for a lawsuit. Cancer, strokes, heart attacks, and serious infections such as sepsis or pneumonia are often misdiagnosed or missed entirely, even when patients mention them.
In any of these medical malpractice cases, the consequences can be severe. If a patient undergoes an ineffective treatment or receives no care at all, their condition may worsen and cause serious complications or even death. At this point, it is essential to get in touch with a medical malpractice attorney serving Northern New Jersey who can help you with your case.
Why is Medical Misdiagnosis so Common?
While there is no excuse for medical misdiagnosis, it is certainly not uncommon. One reason is that doctors have less and less time to spend with their patients. On average, a doctor’s appointment in the U.S. lasts 20 minutes. This gives doctors little time to thoroughly discuss the patient’s health concerns and develop a proper doctor patient relationship. Doctors themselves believe that the length of visits put patients at risk.
However, doctors are also often to blame for misdiagnosis. Too frequently, they fail to listen to patients or thoroughly examine them with the correct diagnostic tests, and many serious conditions are overlooked. Sometimes a doctor does not have a patient’s complete medical history and they are missing key information they need to make a diagnosis. This is especially common if you go to the emergency room or urgent care.
In other cases, medical negligence is highly apparent: the wrong tests are ordered, the doctor failed to order tests, or never followed up on results, leaving the patient to assume that nothing is wrong until they find out otherwise.
Doctors are also guilty of misreading or incorrectly interpreting test results. This goes for other parties such as radiologists, who could misinterpret test results, ultrasounds, so the doctor ends up with incorrect information and gives an incorrect diagnosis.
Do You Have a Medical Malpractice Claim?
Patients rely on medical experts to properly diagnose and treat their health issues. When a doctor fails to give a correct diagnosis due to negligence, it can result in permanent or fatal repercussions. If you believe you have been misdiagnosed, get in touch with a medical misdiagnosis attorney in Northern New Jersey right away and we’ll help you with your medical malpractice case.
Call Buttafuoco & Associates at 1-800-NOW-HURT for a free consultation.