Delayed Diagnosis

Delayed Diagnosis

What Is a Delayed Diagnosis?Delayed Diagnosis

A delayed diagnosis usually falls into one of two categories: The proper diagnosis was missed by a doctor you relied upon, and it was only later that another doctor diagnosed you with an affliction. Or, the diagnosis was eventually made by your doctor but not in a timely manner. Either of these delays can mean that critical treatment time has been lost or there may no longer be an opportunity to effectively treat the problem.

The definition is not black-and-white, but a delayed diagnosis essentially means a medical professional missed an initial diagnosis and, as a result, you did not get medical care for something when you absolutely should have.

What Can Result from a Delayed Diagnosis?

When we notice that something is wrong with our health, we trust our doctors to figure out what’s going on and provide reliable and effective solutions to make us well. When a doctor fails to initially diagnose a condition, the delayed diagnosis can create problems:

  • The disease moves to a later stage that is more difficult (or even impossible) to treat.
  • The delayed diagnosis extends the overall time treatment the treatment must be administered.
  • The type of treatment needed becomes more complex and/or painful.
  • The required treatment escalates to surgery.
  • The disease develops into a different, even more serious condition.
  • A lengthier recovery time results.
  • The patient dies because the diagnosis was delayed too long.

Timely treatment can be life-changing. Cancer, for example, could progress to a later stage or spread to other areas of the body if undetected and untreated in its earlier stages. Undetected cardiovascular disease could lead to stroke or heart attack. An undiagnosed traumatic brain injury could negatively impact an individual’s career, personal life, or emotional and mental stability.

When a Delayed Diagnosis is the Fault of the Medical Professional

A delayed diagnosis is not an innocent oversight. It is a medical error of massive proportions. With medical innovations increasing survival rates and minimizing risks of certain health conditions, many serious ailments can be effectively attacked with properly timed treatment. Early intervention is critical.

A doctor who fails in the diagnosis of your condition – during a routine exam or a special appointment to consider your suspicions – should be held accountable for those actions. And in the case of an emergency, medical professionals are trusted – even in the midst of the chaos, to identify the problem and address it without delay.

What Can Cause a Delayed Diagnosis?

Doctors, nurses, paramedics, and other medical professionals are not infallible. They make mistakes. But we trust that when we think something is wrong with our bodies, these experts will have the knowledge and expertise to recognize a symptom, order the right tests, and connect all the dots to formulte a correct diagnosis.

Some of the most common reasons for a delayed diagnosis include:

  • errors on medical charts
  • misread test results, charts, or x-rays
  • lost paperwork
  • failure to order appropriate testing
  • not referring the patient to a specialist

Do You Have a Case of Delayed Diagnosis?

The consequences of a delayed diagnosis can be the same as if the patient had never seen a doctor. A medical negligence lawyer must prove, with medical documentation, that the patient visited the doctor, that the doctor was negligent and showed a breach in the standard of care, and that the patient was harmed because of that negligence (medical bills, loss of earning capacity, reduced quality of life).

If you experienced harm because of a delayed diagnosis, you may be a victim of medical negligence and may have a claim for medical malpractice. You need a skilled attorney to navigate this complex case, collect the necessary documentation, and represent you and your rights.

Seek the counsel of the medical malpractice lawyers at Thurswell Law to get the best chance to secure monetary compensation for your suffering, medical costs, and lost income. There is no fee until you collect on your case. Call us today to schedule your free consultation at (248) 354-2222.

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