Diagnosis Errors

A misdiagnosis occurs when a doctor, nurse or other health-care provider fails to properly identify or recognize a patient’s symptoms, often resulting in delayed treatment or a lack of treatment altogether.  Other diagnosis errors can occur when there is a delay in taking appropriate steps to identify a condition or disease and commence treatment in a timely basis.

There are many ways in which a diagnosis error can occur:

Failure to Test:

This can occur where a doctor fails to order the appropriate tests to assist in diagnosing the patient’s condition.  Tests can include imaging like an x-ray, ultrasound, CT scan or MRI, blood tests, biopsies, or other diagnostic testing.

Failure to Refer:

A physician may fail to recognize the need to refer a patient to a specialist with greater training in a particular area for further assessment and care.

Misinterpretation of Results:

A proper diagnosis can be dependent on the proper interpretation of imaging or other diagnostic testing.  Radiologists, pathologists, and lab technicians are also involved in the process of diagnosis by ensuring a proper interpretation of testing. 

Lost Results:

Unfortunately, in some instances test results and imaging reports can be lost or delayed in finding their way to the physician who ordered them.  In some instances there are delays in communication of the results which ca lead to delays in treatment and care.

In order to succeed with a diagnosis error claim, you must be able to prove that an earlier diagnosis and earlier treatment would likely have resulted in a better outcome.

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