Missed diagnoses are complex; get help for your case

It's an interesting fact, but the failure to diagnose a patient is the top reason patients sue doctors. A study that reviewed information about medical malpractice claims from Australia, the United States, France and Canada discovered that between 26% and 63% of claims were a result of or related to missed diagnoses.

Of the types of diagnoses that went unknown, the most common were:

  • Heart attacks in adults
  • Meningitis in children
  • Breast cancer
  • Melanoma
  • Lung cancer
  • Colon cancer

What is tragic about these misdiagnoses is that the most common outcome was the death of the patients.

Most malpractice claims won't go anywhere in court

Around two-thirds of medical malpractice claims in the United States don't stand up to scrutiny in court, so the majority of cases go without payouts. However, it's still important to know what causes misdiagnoses and how to help prevent them and the claims that could come from them.

For example, after reviewing the suits against providers who missed heart attacks in women, there has been a greater amount of awareness about them and how to recognize them. Women often suffer from atypical heart-attack symptoms, which needed to be better communicated throughout the medical community.

What can you do if you're a victim of malpractice or a missed diagnosis?

If you're a victim of a misdiagnosis or malpractice, you should know that it could be difficult to bring your case to court and win. Medical malpractice cases are notorious for being complex, and you will need to show that your medical provider deviated from the standard of care that the medical community expects. There needs to be a way to show that the provider did something, or failed to do something, and caused you to suffer an injury when another provider would not have harmed you.

It can be tough to get that evidence, especially if you aren't exactly sure why a diagnosis was missed or what delayed it. It's smart to be open with your provider and to try to understand what happened. If there was an oversight, a mix-up with test results or other significant errors, then you should be informed and be able to file your claim.

A misdiagnosis can be life-threatening or result in an illness worsening significantly. If that happens to you, you deserve to be heard and to make sure the provider is held responsible for their actions.

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