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3 possible consequences when a doctor misdiagnoses you

On Behalf of | Aug 19, 2022 | Personal Injury

Before your primary care physician or an emergency room doctor can treat your medical condition, they first have to diagnose you. For some people, the diagnostic process is straightforward. They fell and now have an obvious fracture to their arm, for example.

For others, there may be more potential explanations for their symptoms and therefore more testing or discussion is necessary before the doctor can determine the cause of the symptoms and therefore the appropriate treatment. Unfortunately, millions of Americans every year feel the effects of diagnostic mistakes by medical professionals.

Somewhere between 40,000 and 80,000 people will die every year because of diagnostic errors. Why are mistakes in the diagnostic process so dangerous for patients?

They can’t get the treatment they need

If you have cancer, the sooner the doctor removes the tissue or begins appropriate therapies, the better your chances of achieving remission. For someone who has just had a stroke, minutes wasted waiting for medical treatment can result in long-term brain damage. Timely and accurate diagnosis will improve someone’s long-term prognosis.

Improper diagnosis can lead to the wrong treatment

Patients misdiagnosed with an infection when they really have cancer will undergo unnecessary medical interventions while simultaneously not receiving the care they require. The more invasive a medical procedure is and the more side effects it causes, the more concerning it becomes for a patient to undergo that treatment when it is not medically necessary.

Patients that receive unnecessary treatment can have adverse reactions to the medication that they receive or become ineligible for other treatments that they may require later.

They may not pursue the matter again

One of the most  common ways that doctors hurt their patients when they don’t try to diagnose them or refer them on for additional testing is that they deter that person from getting care. Someone may continue to ignore their symptoms even as they get worse. A large number of diagnostic mistakes every year only come to light after an autopsy reveals someone’s true medical issues.

When a doctor makes a diagnostic mistake, you may have additional medical expenses and require more time away from your job. Filing a medical malpractice claim can be a way to seek compensation for a doctor’s failings.