Baltimore Accident Attorneys Focus on Medical Misdiagnosis Cases
Maryland Personal Injury Law Firm Helps Injured Patients and Their Families Recover for Their Losses
People generally have faith that healthcare providers will make the right choices for their patients and treat their medical conditions properly. Every medical professional has great responsibility since even a small mistake can cause a patient to sustain a serious and sometimes permanent injury. However, some errors are not mere mistakes. Doctors, nurses, and other health care providers are sometimes negligent in the performance of their duties and cause serious injuries and even fatalities due to their carelessness.
A 2020 study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) found that issues related to diagnosis constitute most of the medical errors related to emergency medicine in the U.S. These issues involved failing to make a distinctive diagnosis, failing to order appropriate diagnostic tests, failing to review irregular findings, and failing to contemplate available clinical information.
What is Medical Misdiagnosis?
Medical misdiagnosis happens when a doctor or health care professional does not identify a condition or order the necessary testing required to follow up on reasonable suspicions of a certain illness or condition.
Some common types of medical misdiagnosis include:
- Incorrect diagnosis based upon the symptoms presented
- Failure to diagnose the proper illness
- Missed diagnosis that deems the patient healthy when they are not
- Delayed diagnosis that causes a significant delay in treatment
- Correct diagnosis but failure to recognize other complications that cause the patient’s condition to worsen
According to a 2019 study conducted by Johns Hopkins University Medical School, misdiagnosis is the No. 1 cause of serious medical errors in the U.S., accounting for between 40,000 and 80,000 fatalities annually. Diagnostic errors leading to death or serious, permanent disability were associated with misdiagnosed cancers, vascular events, and infections.
Does Misdiagnosis Always Constitute Medical Malpractice?
When a physician misdiagnoses or fails to diagnose a medical condition or injury, a medical malpractice lawsuit could be the result. However, misdiagnosis on its own is not necessarily medical malpractice, as even the most competent doctor can make a mistake. To rise to the level of medical malpractice, the misdiagnosis must lead to improper medical treatment, delayed treatment, or no treatment at all, which caused the patient’s condition to worsen.