Misdiagnosis: A Very Common Form of Medical Malpractice
- posted: Jan. 14, 2014
- Medical Malpractice
When you or a loved one suffers an injury, illness or medical condition, you expect to receive the best possible care from doctors, nurses and other health care professionals. That’s not always the case, and misdiagnoses account for the unnecessary suffering of thousands of people each year.
Misdiagnosis occurs when medical professionals mistake your condition for another, often providing treatment for the wrong issue and causing additional complications in the process. They may also completely miss a diagnosis they reasonably should have caught. As a result, you may miss out on receiving the attention you need to prevent an illness or further injury.
In a vast majority of situations, these mistakes are unintentional and caused by negligence. However, that’s not always the case. An oncologist at a cancer treatment center was recently accused of misdiagnosing patients intentionally, and patients allegedly went through chemotherapy treatments they did not need.
Misdiagnosis of cancer in particular is becoming more recognized as a key area of malpractice across the United States, as it can create long-term problems for patients, such as a worsened condition, medication overdoses and improper surgeries. A recent survey of doctors estimated that cancer misdiagnosis occurs in as many as 15 percent to 18 percent of cases.
Addressing an incident of medical malpractice
Medical professionals need to be held accountable for their actions or negligence, and there are a number of steps you should take to ensure you protect your rights and the rights of your loved ones. This may involve gathering and submitting information to the health profession regulatory board, including a statement of the nature of the occurrence and expert witness depositions. You don’t need to go through this process on your own, so be sure to consult with a knowledgeable medical malpractice lawyer before you proceed.