Many mistakes made by medical professionals can be potentially harmful or even fatal. Failing to diagnose a serious injury or illness can mean the difference between life and death. Some potentially lethal conditions such as cancer, strokes, heart attacks, blood clots, pulmonary embolism, and internal bleeding require timely treatment, and failing to either diagnose such serious conditions or to order a necessary medical test is a dangerous form of medical negligence that has serious consequences.
If the medical professional performing the diagnosis failed to diagnose a condition that should have been identified with reasonable care and skill, that professional may be held accountable for the losses the patient suffers as a result.
Holding a negligent medical professional accountable is not just about getting money, but preventing similar mistakes from happening to others in the future. Our Kansas City medical malpractice lawyers are here to listen and provide helpful insight and guidance. The more information you have about your legal rights and options, the better you can plan for your future.
Contact our Kansas City offices at (816) 253-8606 for your free consultation.
Examples of Failures to Diagnose
When you go to a doctor with a specific complaint, it is reasonable to expect a proper examination and evaluation. Unfortunately, it is common for doctors to fail to see signs of serious injuries and illnesses or to misread test results.
Examples of negligent acts that are forms of medical malpractice include:
- Failing to schedule and perform regular screenings for high-risk patients
- Failing to notice indications of serious problems
- Improperly conducting an examination
- Failing to listen to a patient’s complaints
- Failing to order certain tests when reasonably necessary
- Misinterpreting test results
- Misdiagnosing a tumor as benign
- Failing to provide adequate follow-up care
- Delaying the referral of an at-risk patient to a specialist
Commonly Misdiagnosed Conditions
The best way to fight a serious injury or illness is to receive proper diagnosis and treatment right away. Delays can only make the problem worse. In some cases, patients die because they did not receive treatment soon enough. In other cases, patients suffer increased disability such as permanent nerve damage, paralysis, brain injury, blindness, or damage to muscles and vital organs including the brain, heart, lung, kidneys, and liver.
Commonly misdiagnosed medical conditions include:
- Blood clots
- Pulmonary embolism
- Heart attack
- Meningitis and other infections
- Internal bleeding
- Fractured vertebrae
- Subdural hematoma
- Detached retina
- Anaphylactic shock
The Consequences of Failing to Diagnose Cancer
There have been medical advances in recent years that give cancer patients a fighting chance of survival. The odds of successfully fighting cancer are greatly decreased, however, when treatment does not begin soon enough. In other words, a failure to diagnose a condition early can affect the type of treatment that is available or the course of treatment the patient can receive.
Patients who are misdiagnosed, or who are not diagnosed promptly, can suffer serious harm. In some cases, the patient will require more expensive and aggressive medical treatments because they did not receive an early diagnosis. Patients who do not receive early care are more likely to have a decreased survival rate and a shortened lifespan.
Review Your Legal Options with a Kansas City Medical Malpractice Attorney
Victims of a failure to diagnose may be able to file a medical malpractice claim to receive fair compensation from the doctor or medical facility responsible for their significant losses. When someone loses his or her life because of a failure to diagnose, the victim’s family members can pursue compensation and justice for their loss through a wrongful death claim.
Our Kansas City medical malpractice attorneys can help you understand your legal options. For more information, contact us at (816) 253-8606.