An interesting factoid about medical malpractice is that the top cause for suing doctors comes down to a failure to diagnose a patient's problems. No, making mistakes in the operating room or giving out the wrong medications doesn't top the list; not knowing what ails a patient is.
Failing to diagnose a patient can have fatal consequences. When a doctor fails to diagnose a patient who presents with common symptoms that he or she should recognize, that's when he or she faces a medical malpractice lawsuit and the potential to lose the case. With patients suffering from life-threatening illnesses, even a short delay in a diagnosis can be the difference between a successful treatment or leaving the hospital for a funeral home.
The most commonly misdiagnosed or missed diseases include lung cancer, colon cancer and breast cancer. Others include heart attacks and meningitis in children. In most cases studied, the patients died as a result of the misdiagnosis and alleged malpractice.
While diagnosis mistakes are a risk, getting the wrong medication is also a high risk for patients. Adverse drug reactions and interactions can quickly lead to serious consequences for patients. In most cases, double checking the prescriptions or tests ordered could help doctors avoid injuries patients.
Our website has more information about misdiagnoses and why they happen. If you're a victim, remember that you aren't alone. Whether you're the family member of someone who died as a result of a misdiagnosis or someone who has been through extreme medical procedures that weren't necessary because of an incorrect diagnosis, you deserve to have someone on your side.