- Medical error is the third-leading cause of death in the U.S., after heart disease and cancer...
You definitely don’t want to think about this when you get ready for a medical visit because you need to trust your healthcare specialist to do their best to treat you. A Johns Hopkins study revealed that over 250,000 people die annually from medical errors.
When you seek help for a health issue, you expect the medical providers to help you get better. Medics, nurses, and all other medical practitioners are obliged to do their best to diagnose and treat their patients. Knowing this, your first instinct is to trust your doctor’s word when diagnosing you with a disease.
However, as the statistics show, this isn’t always the case, and you can end up getting worse than when you first visited the doctor. If your medic has harmed you, you need to know the warning signs of medical practice.
What constitutes medical misdiagnosis?
Often, a case of delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis is in fact, medical negligence. However, keep in mind that this isn’t always the case. When your doctor follows the acceptable standards of care and acts competently in diagnosing you, they’re not at fault for the complications you may experience. There are two factors you need to consider:
Was there a breach by the doctor in meeting the standard of care? Negligence occurs when they fail to pay or respond to your symptoms or complaints, order the needed tests that would confirm a diagnosis, refer you to a specialist in a timely manner, or treat you in the required manner considering your medical issue.
Did the misdiagnosis trigger serious repercussions for your medical state? Early treatment is the key when you suffer from an aggressive medical disease like cancer. If the misdiagnosis caused an improper treatment, prolonged suffering, no treatment, or even death, Daytona Beach injury attorneys should be hired to review the case.
The most common signs of medical malpractice
If you experience any of the following signs after visiting a healthcare practitioner, you may be a victim of medical negligence.
Your condition doesn’t improve or worsens
If your medical issue gets worse or doesn’t change for the better after you started the treatment your medic prescribed, you may be the victim of medical malpractice. Or you may have been misdiagnosed and need to seek immediate attention. This instance is really concerning because your actual medical problem is not properly treated and can progress.
The hospital or clinic is understaffed
When you benefit from the services of an understaffed facility, you are more likely to become the victim of medical malpractice. As in any other sector, people are predisposed to make mistakes when under stress and don’t benefit from the proper support. Since there are no medical specialists on duty and resources are spread too thin, the medical facility can fail to treat you accordingly. This means that you may not get the proper medical attention or get better.
It’s always best to research the medical facility before making an appointment to determine how satisfied former patients are with its services. Find out if the doctors delayed appointments, rushed patients, failed to listen to them, or lacked resources to evaluate their symptoms.
The medical expert doesn’t take your concerns seriously
When you visit a doctor, you want them to pay attention to the symptoms you describe and consider them when they diagnose you. However, sometimes doctors fail to fully listen to your concerns and symptoms or choose to dismiss them. When doing this, they don’t provide you with the proper care you need.
Another instance of medical negligence is when the doctor doesn’t offer you complete information about the available treatment options and what potential medical issues you may suffer from. If you feel that your doctor doesn’t treat you properly or fails to listen to your concerns, see another medical professional because the first will most likely won’t offer proper care.
The medical specialist wasn’t thorough
If your medic only ordered basic lab tests, even if your symptoms pointed to a serious condition, they might not be doing proper research to diagnose you correctly. Also, sometimes doctors don’t order follow-up tests to confirm a diagnosis, and it turns out you experienced another condition or a secondary disease they left untreated. In this situation, they are negligent with your care, and you can claim compensation.
You received a different second opinion
If you see two doctors who offer two different diagnoses, you might be the victim of medical negligence. To determine which one is wrong, you need to see a third specialist. If the third doctor agrees with one of the first two, you need to hire a medical malpractice attorney because you’re justified to claim compensation.
What is the most common type of misdiagnosis?
Sadly, cancer is the most common health issue that is misdiagnosed. And due to its aggressive nature, any delay in your treatment can produce significant suffering and complications. The most common types of misdiagnosed cancers are lung cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, skin cancer, breast cancer, and lymphoma.
Other health issues that are sometimes misdiagnosed include coronary artery disease, infections, and heart attack. Here is what misdiagnoses doctors offer from severe illnesses.
Lupus – misdiagnosed as rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, or chronic fatigue syndrome.
Asthma – misdiagnosed as recurring bronchitis.
Parkinson’s – misdiagnosed as stress, stroke, or Alzheimer.
Heart attacks – misdiagnosed as panic attacks or indigestion.
Lyme disease – misdiagnosed as mononucleosis, depression, or flu.
The bottom line
Don’t hesitate to go to the emergency room to receive immediate care when you have an emergency medical problem. Getting better should always be your priority. Then you can contact your personal injury attorney to advise you on how to proceed with the case. They’ll probably tell you that you should follow the doctor’s recommendations if they don’t make you worse, seek additional care, don’t wait for the things to worsen on purpose to prove your point or wait around because your doctor said so.