Did you know that a recent study of Patient Safety Incidents (PSIs) by Healthgrades found that “Failure to Rescue”, meaning failure to diagnose and treat in time, was the most common cause of a patient safety incident? An accurate diagnosis is often considered the foundation of medicine; however, nearly 155 per 1,000 hospitalized patients receive a wrong diagnosis that could not only extend treatment times but could potentially lead to decreased survival rates. Simply put, when a doctor fails to follow the fundamental steps of diagnosis, serious injury and death can arise.
Each time medical care is needed, patients are putting themselves or their loved ones at the mercy of the doctors or hospital staff that are designated to help and have received the training and schooling necessary to make informed medical decisions – even in life or death situations. At Graves McLain, we know that thousands of deaths occur each year as a result of a missed or wrong diagnosis by a medical professional. As knowledgeable attorneys that have experience with serious injury and medical malpractice cases, our clients can rest easy knowing that their rights are being fought for by a qualified team.
While determining whether or not a doctor lived up to the standard of care will likely require an expert opinion, the goal of a successful wrong diagnosis case is to show that the diagnosing doctor did not include the correct diagnosis on their list while a competent doctor would have; however, it is important to note that in many instances, the doctor learns more information that may supplement their potential diagnoses. Because this can be a potentially challenging situation to be in, many patients choose to work directly with a medical malpractice attorney to learn what is possible for their individual needs or circumstances.
Some of the ways a wrong diagnosis may occur include:
The doctor provides the wrong diagnosis for the patient
The doctor misses an illness or disease they should have caught
The doctor eventually makes the correct diagnosis but after a significant delay
The doctor fails to identify complications or other factors that aggravate the illness
The doctor correctly diagnoses one disease but fails to detect a secondary disease