Frequently Asked Questions About Failure To Diagnose
There are many excellent health care facilities in California. In most cases, these institutions provide quality care and help patients on a daily basis. In some instances, though, doctors make mistakes, and one common error that can hurt patients is the failure to diagnose. Here are short answers to questions we are typically asked about the failure to diagnose.
What Constitutes A Failure To Diagnose?
One of the reasons failure to diagnose cases are so complex is because doctors often use a method of trial and error when making a diagnosis. A patient’s symptoms may present as another condition and, when treatment is unsuccessful, the doctor will then attempt another course of treatment. This scenario is common and does not necessarily constitute medical malpractice.
However, doctors are expected to have the skills and knowledge necessary to recognize certain symptoms and conditions in order to form an accurate diagnosis. When a doctor does not practice according to the standards of care in the industry, that doctor is considered negligent and that negligence can constitute medical malpractice. When this happens, a patient’s condition can become much worse in a short amount of time. Sometimes, such as when a doctor fails to diagnose cancer, it can be fatal for the patient.
For example, a patient may tell a doctor that they have been feeling extremely tired, urinating a lot, and experiencing blurry vision. These are common early symptoms of Type 2 diabetes. If a doctor fails to order the blood test that is necessary to diagnose the condition, they may never treat the patient for diabetes. When not managed properly, this disease can have disastrous effects on a patient’s health.
What Are Some Common Conditions That Are Not Diagnosed Properly?
Some conditions are not properly diagnosed more commonly than others. These conditions almost always have the potential to be fatal for the patient, which is why missing the diagnosis of them is even more costly to the patient and their loved ones. These conditions include:
- Heart attack
- Infections such as sepsis or gangrene
- Sleep apnea
- Lyme disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
A missed diagnosis of any of these conditions can cause serious harm to patients and often, they and their loved ones are not aware of the condition they suffered from until it is too late.
What Types Of Cancer Do Physicians Commonly Fail To Diagnose?
A doctor can fail to diagnose any type of cancer, but the most common types include colon, liver, prostate, skin and lung cancer.
Are There Infectious Diseases That Do Not Get Properly Diagnosed?
Infectious diseases such as Lyme disease, pneumonia and bronchial infections are some of the most common diseases that are not properly diagnosed.
What About Birth Injuries?
These injuries include preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, cerebral palsy and shoulder dystocia. Doctors must be able to identify these injuries and conditions quickly so they can be treated and cause as little harm as possible to mothers and their children. The failure to diagnose any of these conditions and diseases will have a devastating effect on patients.
What Are My Legal Options?
Patients who have been harmed by a doctor’s failure to diagnose can file a medical malpractice claim to recover damages such as medical expenses and lost income. Even when a patient deserves compensation, medical malpractice cases are extremely complex.
Where Can I Learn More About My Legal Options?
If you or a loved one has been harmed by a failure to diagnose, call Willoughby Law Firm, Inc., at 415-870-2778 today. Attorney Markus Willoughby has extensive experience in the field of medical malpractice. He is a trial lawyer’s trial lawyer and is often sought out by other lawyers in the state for guidance in this complex area of law. He is aggressive in his pursuit of helping victims of medical malpractice, and he can help with your case.