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Failure to Diagnose and Misdiagnosis: Common Forms of Medical Malpractice

Many medical conditions require immediate attention so that the patient may begin to obtain relief from some of the symptoms associated with the conditions and/or benefit from early detection and treatment. Unfortunately, many patients are not diagnosed or misdiagnosed by a doctor, which often results in prolonged exposure to an illness or disease, causing irreversible damage. Misdiagnoses happen quite often in the United States. In fact, as many as 12 million Americans who obtain outpatient care are misdiagnosed each year. This figure does not include misdiagnoses that occur while patients are obtaining inpatient care (care obtained while admitted in a hospital). Failure to properly diagnose a medical condition is one of the most common forms of medical malpractice. If you or someone you know has suffered damages because a doctor failed to diagnose or failed to properly diagnose your illness or disease, contact a skilled Port St. Lucie attorney to see whether you have a claim for medical malpractice.

Determining Whether You Have a Medical Malpractice Claim

It is important to understand that the failure to diagnose a condition or a misdiagnosis will not result in medical malpractice in every instance. A medical malpractice suit will only stand if the plaintiff can prove that the doctor deviated from the appropriate standard of care accepted by doctors in the particular field. Some common situations in which a failure to diagnose or a misdiagnosis will result in medical malpractice are:

  • Failure to obtain accurate information. Many individuals would agree that in most instances there is a wait upon arrival to the doctor’s office, typically in excess of 30 minutes. When you are able to see the doctor your visit seems to be rushed. While it’s true that doctors often have a lot of patients to see and care for, this does not excuse their requirement to obtain all pertinent information that will help in diagnosing a condition. Sometimes, doctors will not go through a complete medical history with a patient or will overlook a symptom that is common for one particular type of illness. This may result in a malpractice claim.
  • Failure to obtain appropriate tests. Doctors are not required to run the same tests to screen for particular illnesses. There is some flexibility in the medical profession. However, if a particular test is the method that is used by everyone in the profession to test for a particular illness and your doctor did not use the acceptable test, he may be subject to a medical malpractice claim.
  • Failure to follow up. The length of time it takes to receive test results vary, ranging from a few days to a week or more. Doctors typically inform clients that a follow up phone call will only be made in the event of an abnormal test. If a doctor mistakenly fails to follow up with a patient the impact could be detrimental to a patient’s health. The added injury caused by the failure to follow up may result in a medical malpractice claim.

Contact Eighmie Law Firm, P.A. For your Failure to Diagnose Claim

The attorneys at the Eighmie Law Firm, P.A. in Port St. Lucie are skilled personal injury attorneys who have handled client claims regarding the failure to diagnose or a misdiagnosis. During an initial consultation, we will go over the facts and circumstances of your case to better advise you of whether you have a claim for medical malpractice. Contact us today for a no-risk consultation.

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