Delayed Treatment or the Failure to Diagnose Medical Conditions

John Fisher
Connect with me
Stopping Medical Injustice

Timing of a correct diagnosis can have an impact on the amount of harm suffered by a patient prior to treatment, having a serious impact on a patient’s life.  A significant number of medical malpractice lawsuits result from the misdiagnosis or the delayed diagnosis of medical conditions.  A patient’s condition may become much worse, and they could even die if a doctor commits a diagnostic error leading to incorrect treatment, delayed treatment, or no treatment.  However, even if a doctor makes an error in diagnosis, this does not necessarily mean that a medical malpractice lawsuit will be successful.

 

When a patient has been the victim of misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis s/he may not have missed the opportunity to obtain effective treatment for their condition before it worsens.  Errors in diagnosis can result in particularly severe consequences in the case of:

 

  • Cancer – a delay in diagnosis can impact the likelihood of a patient making a full recovery.
  • Hearth attack, stroke, and embolism – these conditions are considered medical emergencies and need to be identified and treated quickly.
  • Sepsis and meningitis – failure to diagnose these conditions can result in serious brain injury, cerebral palsy, quadriplegia, blindness, and death.

 

When a doctor does not follow the appropriate diagnostic procedures they can be held accountable for the consequences that result.  However, a doctor is not legally responsible for every diagnostic error.  The patient needs to prove three things in order to prevail in a medical malpractice lawsuit based on misdiagnosis. 

 

  1. That a doctor-patient relationship existed.
  2. That the doctor was negligent (did not provide the patient with treatment in a manner that was reasonably skillful and competent).
  3. That the patient was injured as a result of the doctor’s negligence.

 

The failure to diagnose or delaying diagnosis is not evidence of negligence in and of itself.  Even the most skilled doctor can make a diagnostic error while using reasonable care.  To determine if the doctor acted competently, what the doctor did or did not do in arriving at a diagnosis needs to be evaluated.

 

During a medical malpractice case, the patient will need to prove that another doctor in a similar specialty, under similar circumstances, would not have made an error in diagnosing the patient’s illness or condition.  The patient will need to prove:

 

  • That a reasonable skillful and competent doctor would have made the correct diagnosis and the doctor who made the error did not.
  • The doctor did not perform the appropriate tests or seek opinions from specialists to investigate the viability of the correct diagnosis.

 

If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a doctor’s failure to diagnose or delayed diagnosis, contact an experienced Kingston medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to evaluate your case.

 

But what do you think?  I would love to hear from you!  Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected]  You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com

Be the first to comment!
Post a Comment