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A wrong diagnosis or delayed diagnosis can be catastrophic

On Behalf of | Apr 4, 2023 | Medical Malpractice

It goes without saying that trust is probably a big part of your relationship with your doctor. When you visit a doctor in New York for any reason, you trust that he or she not only possesses the knowledge and skills to successfully treat you, but also cares enough to do what’s right to facilitate your healing. Yet, no matter how skilled or experienced your doctor is, they are only human, and humans will inevitably make mistakes. 

Unfortunately, when medical providers are negligent or make mistakes, patients and families are the ones who suffer. These days, misdiagnosis and delays in treatment are among the most common mistakes that doctors make. Even when your doctor correctly diagnoses your ailment, if there is a delay in your treatment, it can lead to worsening symptoms, injuries and even death. A recent study by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine estimated that errors or delays in diagnostics could be responsible for nearly 160,000 deaths and permanent injuries every year in the United States.  

What happens in a wrong diagnosis? 

A wrong diagnosis or misdiagnosis is when your doctor decides you are suffering from an ailment or medical condition that you don’t actually have. You can imagine how this can be harmful for a patient. Just as an example, let’s say a physician sees a patient complaining about chest pains and they are having a heart attack. If the doctor diagnoses the patient as having acid reflux, the patient who is having a heart attack would not get the treatment they need and could possibly die. 

What happens when a doctor fails to diagnose a condition? 

There are a couple of ways in which your doctor could fail to diagnose your condition. First, the doctor could make no diagnosis at all. For example, let’s say you are suffering from a disease, so you see a doctor and he ultimately gives you a clean bill of health. The second way is when your doctor correctly diagnoses one condition but fails to diagnose another. Either way, you would not get the treatment you need. 

Delayed diagnosis 

Thousands of people suffer or die every year because of delays in their treatment process. In a delayed diagnosis, your doctor makes the right diagnosis, but only after a significant amount of time has passed. A delayed diagnosis can have life-threatening implications if you have a serious condition that needs prompt action, like cancer or cardiac-related issues.  

Understanding your options 

If you are involved in any of the aforementioned scenarios, it means you will have likely suffered through no fault of your own. This would not only be unfair but unjust, and you would deserve compensation for your losses. However, you would have to prove that the doctor was negligent or under normal circumstances would not have misdiagnosed your condition. If you suffer from a wrong diagnosis, misdiagnosis or any form of medical malpractice, there are options at your disposal that could help ease your pain and suffering. 

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