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Medical Malpractice And Misdiagnosis:data, Causes And Consequences

By Expert Author: R. Klettke

Published data summaries of medical malpractice cases stemming from misdiagnosis are uncommon. Everyone, it seems, knows someone who has a tale of their experience with being misdiagnosed, but few comprehensive studies have been done on a regular basis to investigate the number of patients affected by misdiagnosis and how many of those patients seek a medical malpractice lawyer to help with devastating health and financial outcomes.



Some of the Medical Provider factors contributing to medical misdiagnosis are:



• Not spending enough time with a patient, rushing through an examination to accommodate an over-booked schedule, not reading the patients history and physical, and not reviewing records from previous providers.


• Miscommunications between patient and medical staff


• Not consulting with specialists when necessary


• Improper handling of diagnostic tests such as blood tests or radiology studies: not requesting all needed tests, not reviewing the results at all, or reading the results incorrectly, and failure to notify the patient of abnormal results


• Failure to recognize symptoms for what they represent


• Not reading current continuing educational material to stay informed in their field


• Failure to realize that the patient’s medications are the cause of the problem


• Not recognizing an underlying disease (can be common for conditions that have either no symptoms or vague symptoms)


• Delay in diagnosis: sometime as a result of misinterpreting what the patient said, disregarding symptoms reported, assuming that the condition is harmless, and not following up on requested tests, or requested records



The consequences of being misdiagnosed can cause patients to needlessly receive a wrong treatment, resulting in pain and suffering, permanent injury or death. The equally tragic flipside is when a misdiagnosis postpones or prevents proper treatment, allowing the unchecked growth of a progressive disease such cancer. In many cases, the correct diagnosis and treatment likely would have prevented death.



No matter what the cause or consequence of the misdiagnosis, victims of this type of medical malpractice have the legal right to consult a medical malpractice attorney about seeking compensation for their pain and with a medical suffering.



R. Klettke is a freelance writer. He writes about personal injury and medical malpractice law and other matters of jurisprudence.



Important Advisory: This article is not intended to provide legal advice upon which you or anyone else should rely in making any decisions regarding the instituting or prosecuting of a legal claim. Laws and rules relating to the bringing of a claim vary widely from state to state. You should always contact a personal injury attorney to obtain information as to the rules and the laws pertaining to any claim you might have.

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