The frequency of misdiagnoses and missed diagnoses

On Behalf of | Apr 20, 2020 | Medical Malpractice

Many people in Texas are the victims of either a misdiagnosis or a missed diagnosis. A missed diagnosis simply means that a patient’s condition is never identified while a misdiagnosis means that it’s confused with something else. The one can lead to a worsening of the patient’s condition; the other can also lead to additional harm from unnecessary treatments.

Experts say that around 5% of all diagnoses can be classified as misdiagnoses or missed diagnoses. The percentage may even be higher since there is no system for detecting and reporting these types of errors. Of course, the families of patients who die can request an autopsy, but professionals almost always discourage them from this step.

Different health conditions will often share the same symptoms, and to tell them apart, doctors will use a process known as differential diagnosis. Patients who feel that their initial diagnosis was wrong, perhaps because their symptoms are persisting, can make use of this same process. They can then ask their doctor to refer them to a specialist in the field that they think their true condition falls under.

If patients pursue a medical malpractice case for any injuries incurred because of a diagnostic error, they will need to meet several requirements. First of all, it must be shown that patients did all that their doctor told them and that the doctor was acting in a professional capacity.

Then, victims must show that the doctor acted in a way that any competent and reasonably doctor would not have acted. Third, they must link the negligence with their injuries. For this and other reasons, it may be wise for victims to consult an attorney. With an attorney, they might be able to achieve a fair settlement for monetary and non-monetary losses.