Failed Erroneous Diagnosis And Treatment

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Medical malpractice is not something most people really think about, except for those who have had it happen to them they never forget. That's why doctors and medical personnel are dedicated to not only providing the best treatment, but in making sure that all the little things the patient doesn't think about get taken care of safely and efficiently. And when there is a problem, it is the doctor's, nurse's, and medical staff's responsibility to not only recognize and rectify the situation, but to also report the incident.

In their initial examination, doctors and medical professionals do their best to identify the distinguishing symptoms of each of their patients, and while a good number of the time the symptoms are identifiable, other times they are not. It is when the symptoms are neglected to be seen, despite existing evidence pointing to the problem. When this happens, a medical professional has compromised their duty to give their patient the best possible care.

A failed erroneous diagnosis occurs when a delay or failure to diagnose a disease has resulted in injury or disease progression above and beyond what would have resulted from a timely diagnosis. Many such cases involve the diagnosis and treatment of cancer; the patient may have cancer, but the doctor diagnoses it as some other condition, leaving time for the cancer to spread when it otherwise could have been treated right away.

In the United States, medical malpractice is measured by four different steps. The first step is to establish that there was a duty of care. Then it must be shown that the duty of care has been breached. This is determined by something called the Bolam test. The Bolam test is an initial survey to determine if the medical staff failed to diagnose an injury or illness, entered a misdiagnosis, and/or prescribed medication that resulted in a negative reaction that could have been predicted based on medical history and symptom analysis. In the third step, it must be shown that there was a link between the breach of duty and harm. Fourth, it must be shown that the harm was not too remote. In order for the case to be truly actionable, it must be proven that the patient received injury of some sort, or had a significant loss in wages or income as a result. If no losses or damages occur because of a misdiagnosis or the patient has not been harmed, then there are no grounds for the lawsuit.

Medical malpractice can result in a bevy of conditions and reactions that not all patients bodies can handle, depending on their condition and medical history. It is the responsibility of the doctor and other medical personnel to make sure their patients are treated in the best possible way, as the patients themselves have entrusted their safety and treatment in the hands of the medical staff. In an emergency situation, it is also up to the patient or the patient's loved ones to provide as much of a medical history as possible. Failure to do so can result in dire consequences, and may not constitute a malpractice situation.

During the process of assessing a misdiagnosis for malpractice, the most important thing to ask is what diagnoses a reasonably responsible doctor would have considered as potential causes for the patient's symptoms under normal circumstances. If a doctor previously failed to consider the patient's true diagnosis on his or her list of possible diagnoses, or did not order the necessary tests to rule out a disease, then he or she would most likely be considered negligent.

By giving medication or prescriptions to a patient, medical professionals are signaling their confidence in the safety and healing abilities the medicine has in treating a patient's medical condition. However, if a bad reaction occurs when it could have been prevented, it becomes an issue of negligence. Many times a situation like this is a result of someone misreading a dosage instruction, or not double-checking that the drugs they are giving someone will mix well with other prescriptions or drugs the patient may already be on.

The most common way failed erroneous diagnosis occurs is when a doctor fails to treat a symptom a patient has by dismissing the symptom as unimportant, temporary or minor. Failure to treat the condition may then result in exacerbation of the underlying condition, causing further harm and distress to the patient. In effect, erroneous or wrong treatment may occur as a result of a misdiagnosis or failure of treatment.
In a rush, doctors, nurses, and medical personnel are susceptible to making mistakes in effectively treating their patients. Therefore, by compromising the care that the patient is given, despite their well-meaning intent, doctors and medical staff risk crossing the line from patient care and into medical malpractice. And if this happens, it's important to report the incident and get legal representation.


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