How is misdiagnosis different from failure to diagnose?

Sometimes, doctors, medical professionals and hospitals goof up. They might forget to pencil in your scheduled appointment or forget to send that prescription to your local pharmacy. The difference between these goof ups and a medical malpractice suit is fairly different. Medical malpractice related injury can occur in many different instances, one of which involves a situation where misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose by a medical professional causes injury or illness.

There is a difference between a person being injured due to a misdiagnosis versus being injured by a medical professional’s failure to diagnose a client. One doesn’t necessarily lead to a worse outcome than the other, rather the injuries resulting from either could be equally severe. However, just what a doctor or other medical professional did leading up to the incident in which a patient was unnecessarily injured is important. If a patient suffered an instance where a medical professional failed to diagnose an ailment, it means that they failed to otherwise recognize a condition. This would lead to a failure to potentially treat the illness in a way that would save a person from further injury or illness.

In situations where a medical professional makes a misdiagnosis, it means an otherwise recognizable condition was attributed to an entirely other illness. Thus, oftentimes, a treatment plan is put in place to treat an illness or injury that a patient does not suffer from. Not only is the medical professional treating the wrong illness, they are failing to recognize and treat the real issue. Either situation could potentially have been avoided had a similar medical professional drawn an accurate conclusion.

One factor often used to measure if a medical professional erred and was otherwise negligent by means of misdiagnosis is by measuring their actions against what a similar medical professional would have diagnosed in that same situation. If another professional would have ruled in favor of the correct diagnosis, this could easily be a situation of medical malpractice and misdiagnosis. While it is rarely intentional, these instances of misdiagnosis and of a medical professional’s failure to diagnose do happen. There are ways for the injured party to collect for such injuries. If you have questions regarding medical malpractice, you may wish to speak with an attorney.

Source: FindLaw, “Failed/Erroneous Diagnosis and Treatment,” Accessed August 28, 2017