We rely on medical professionals to provide correct and timely diagnoses of our medical problems routinely. However, sometimes these professionals are unable to diagnose our conditions, and sometimes they diagnose the wrong condition. Missed diagnoses and misdiagnoses are two different potential forms of medical malpractice.
Missed diagnosis: Failure to recognize the symptoms and diagnose the problem
There are two types of missed diagnoses. One type involves a patient receiving medical treatment or testing without an actual diagnosis. Rather than appropriately identifying the symptoms, the medical professional may fail to diagnose the presenting condition, causing additional harm. The other type occurs when the patient seeks treatment for a condition, but the medical staff does not acknowledge or treat the actual problem. Examples include refusing to prescribe the right medication or refusing to give a patient proper medical attention. This can also cause additional harm to patients.
Misdiagnosis: Getting it wrong
A misdiagnosis involves identifying the wrong medical condition and then treating it. A misdiagnosis may lead to incorrect treatment being provided, which can worsen the underlying problem.
Both missed diagnosis and misdiagnosis can cause serious harm
Patients who believe they have received the wrong diagnosis or have not received a diagnosis at all, and have suffered significant permanent harm as a result should seek the advice of a qualified medical malpractice attorney.