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Can a Doctor Be Held Liable for Injuries Caused by Delayed Diagnosis?

Posted on in Medical Malpractice

Arlington Heights medical malpractice attorney delayed diagnosis

For patients who are suffering from serious medical issues, the diagnosis of their condition is essential to make sure they can receive the proper treatment. This is especially true in cases involving diseases such as cancer, since surgery, chemotherapy, or other treatments must be performed before the illness progresses beyond a certain stage. A delayed diagnosis can cause a person to suffer serious harm, and in some cases, their condition may progress to the point where it is untreatable, resulting in wrongful death

When Is a Delayed Diagnosis Considered Medical Malpractice?

Properly diagnosing a patient’s condition can often be difficult, since people can experience a wide variety of symptoms that can be interpreted in different ways. Doctors are trained to recognize the signs of serious illnesses, and if they are uncertain about a diagnosis, they should take the proper steps to gain as much understanding about a patient’s condition as possible. Some forms of medical negligence that could lead to a delayed diagnosis include:

  • Dismissal of patient symptoms - While doctors have knowledge and experience that helps them recognize the issues affecting a patient, they should also listen to a person’s concerns and be sure to fully address the symptoms that he or she is reporting. If a doctor believes that a patient is overstating the amount of pain or discomfort he or she is feeling, or if the physician does not give enough consideration to a patient’s concerns, he or she may fail to diagnose a serious illness.

  • Testing errors - A diagnosis may be delayed because a doctor did not order the proper medical tests or procedures, because errors were made during testing, or because a doctor failed to properly interpret test or lab results.

  • Failure to refer a patient to a specialist - If a doctor is unsure about a patient’s condition, he or she should provide a referral to another doctor who can review the patient’s symptoms and provide a better diagnosis of the issues the person is experiencing. The inability to consult with a specialist may result in a patient not receiving the treatment he or she needs.

  • Administrative issues - Doctors who have a heavy patient load may not be able to spend enough time with a patient to fully consider his or her symptoms and make a diagnosis within the right amount of time. Staffing issues or improper record-keeping at a medical facility can also cause delays in diagnosis due to the inability to accurately review a patient’s medical history or other records that are related to his or her condition.

Contact Our Rolling Meadows Medical Malpractice Lawyers

If you or a member of your family has been injured because a doctor did not diagnose an illness in time to provide the proper treatment, the skilled legal team of Newland & Newland, LLP can provide the legal help you need. We will help you gather evidence to show that medical negligence led to a delayed diagnosis, and we will help you pursue financial compensation for your injuries. To set up a free consultation, contact our qualified Palatine delayed diagnosis attorneys at 847-797-8000.

 

Sources:

https://www.prenuvo.com/customer/why-we-detect-disease-late

https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/pdf/10.1377/hlthaff.2013.0130

 

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