Misdiagnoses often occur because of the similarities between illnesses. People who struggle with chest pain, for example, could have a heart problem, lung disease or even a back injury. It's up to a medical provider to narrow down the possibilities and determine the true cause of injuries or illnesses.
One of the most common reasons that doctors face medical malpractice lawsuits is because of misdiagnoses. A misdiagnosis can occur for many reasons, from a patient not giving the medical provider enough information to the medical provider failing to order the correct tests. A misdiagnosis happens when a medical provider determines an incorrect diagnosis, fails to provide a diagnosis or delays a diagnosis for a length of time. In every case, malpractice relies on the patient suffering harm in some way.
A misdiagnosis is a serious problem that people must address as quickly as possible. One thing that has become clear is that some diagnoses happen far too often. For instance, the diagnosis rate of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has increased over time, which could be an indication that it's being overdiagnosed.
A misdiagnosis could be welcome or unwelcome, depending on what was misdiagnosed, but there is one thing to keep in mind regardless: Your health as a patient was at risk. If you were improperly diagnosed as being healthy, you wouldn't be receiving the care you need. Likewise, if you were improperly diagnosed with a disease, you might receive treatments that have side effects you didn't need to be exposed to.
When you a diagnosed with a certain illness based upon the symptoms that you have been experiencing, it is likely that you will trust your doctor's judgment and that you won't question his or her judgment until you have good reason to think otherwise.
Imagine this scenario — you've been diagnosed with cancer of the prostrate. You're lying on a gurney about to be wheeled into the operating room to have your prostate excised. The sedative is already flowing in your veins from the IV drip.
When you go to the emergency room or your doctor with a medical complaint, you should expect that your symptoms are taken seriously and given enough attention. You know what is right and what is normal for your body, so it is important that you are listened to.
If you have recently been diagnosed with Lyme disease after spending a long time seeking a diagnosis of your debilitating symptoms, it likely comes as a relief that you finally have a name for the cause of your suffering. However, you probably also feel frustrated about the time you spent suffering and trying to achieve a diagnosis, while your medical provider failed to successfully figure out the problem.
When you are seeking medical treatment or are in a hospital, you naturally want to trust that you are in good hands. While doctors are usually competent and highly professional individuals that always put the needs of their patients first, there can be times when a person's health is compromised by the negligent actions of a doctor.
Many autoimmune diseases can take years to be correctly diagnosed. When there is a failure to diagnose a condition, it means that a patient suffers unnecessarily. Their condition can worsen significantly, because they are not getting the treatment that they desperately need.