The body is an amazing and highly efficient machine that lets you know when you are sick. Few things are as frustrating as being repeatedly turned away from getting the care you need or being told you are imagining symptoms. You know your body better than any doctor but, if you’re like most people, you trust doctors to lead you in the right direction when it comes to your health.
Unfortunately, doctors make mistakes. Like anyone else, they get overwhelmed by the demands of work, family, and other stressors. In some cases, they mistake one health condition for another. Misdiagnosis is so dangerous because it has the potential to subject patients to treatments that can actually cause additional harm.
At LawMD, many of our misdiagnosis lawyers are also physicians. We work with patients from all over the country. If you or a loved one has been injured due to a doctor’s misdiagnosis, we can help.
Contact US online or call (888) 695-2963 for a free consultation and case evaluation with a member of our legal team.
What Causes Misdiagnoses?
Medicine is a demanding profession. Many doctors see a heavy rotation of patients on a daily basis. At any given time, they are juggling office visits, surgery time, and hospital rounds. If they are fortunate, they have time to spare for family, rest, and hobbies.
Our overburdened health care system often puts incredible pressure on doctors to see more patients and take on more cases. This puts patients at risk of being misdiagnosed. Although the overwhelming majority of physicians never intend to hurt a patient, these mistakes do happen—a lot more often than most people realize.
A misdiagnosis can happen in a variety of ways. Our misdiagnosis attorneys have handled cases involving:
- Misinterpretation of test results
- Ignored symptoms
- Mishandled test results or lab work
- Failure to gather family health history
- Misinterpretation of X-rays, MRIs, and diagnostic images
- Incorrect administration of tests and screenings
- Failure to communicate and follow up
An overlooked health condition can be life-threatening for a patient and devastating for the patient’s family. Doctors can miss malignant tumors and serious health threats, leading to the need for more aggressive treatments, surgeries, and interventions. This can compromise a patient’s health and financial well-being, leaving them with lifelong medical problems and a diminished quality of life.
In the most catastrophic cases, a patient is sent home with a simple diagnosis of headache or a pulled muscle, when the patient is really suffering from a heart attack, stroke, infection, or another serious condition. Many health problems can be quickly resolved and reversed if discovered early. When doctors miss this window of opportunity, they put the patient’s life on the line. A misdiagnosis can also lead to death, leaving loved ones overcome by grief and shock.
Common Medical Misdiagnoses
Medical misdiagnoses can occur in any type of health crisis, but some cases happen with an alarming frequency.
These cases include:
- Heart attack, misdiagnosed as upset stomach or muscle strain
- MRSA infection, misdiagnosed as a common cold or the flu
- Stroke, misdiagnosed as Bell’s palsy or vertigo
- Appendicitis, misdiagnosed as muscle strain or indigestion
- Ketoacidosis, misdiagnosed as the flu, especially in young children
Misdiagnosis can also occur when a doctor mistakes a less serious condition for something life-threatening, such as cancer. Because many kinds of health conditions can display symptoms that also occur in cancer, doctors must be absolutely certain of a cancer diagnosis before subjecting a patient to aggressive treatments, such as chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery.
Don’t Wait to Speak to a Lawyer
The law imposes strict time limits on medical malpractice cases. If you wait too long to speak to a lawyer, you could miss your opportunity to file a claim. Protect yourself by contacting a lawyer as soon as you suspect you have been misdiagnosed.
Taking on a doctor, hospital, or another health care provider can be an overwhelming and intimidating prospect. When you’re already hurt and vulnerable, you need a strong ally on your side. At LawMD, we fight for victims of medical malpractice. If you were misdiagnosed, you don’t have to suffer in silence.
Call us at (888) 695-2963 to speak to a Washington, D.C. medical malpractice attorney today about your case.