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What is misdiagnosis and how does it happen?

On Behalf of | Jan 21, 2023 | Medical Malpractice

You trust your physician. That’s why you go to them when you are taken ill. Whether you are checking into the hospital for a routine check-up or a major procedure, you trust that the healthcare provider you will be seeing is capable of administering the treatment you need to get back on your feet and carry on with your life.

Unfortunately, doctors, like everyone else make mistakes. And one of the most common medical mistakes doctors make is known as medical misdiagnosis. In fact, studies show that up to 12 million misdiagnosis cases are reported in the U.S. each year. But how do these misdiagnoses happen?

Understanding misdiagnosis

At its very basic, a misdiagnosis happens when a healthcare provider makes the wrong call on your health condition. For instance, a doctor might diagnose your brain tumor as a migraine. Consequently, they could prescribe a treatment for a migraine instead of the tumor, and this can have serious consequences. The common types of misdiagnosis include:

  • Diagnosing the wrong disease
  • Failing to diagnose any disease
  • Diagnosing a disease but failing to identify and treat the underlying causes
  • Mistaking side effects of medication as an illness

When does a misdiagnosis amount to medical malpractice?

For a misdiagnosis to meet the threshold of medical malpractice, the following elements must be met. Here are some of these elements:

  • You were seeing a healthcare provider for a condition or treatment when the misdiagnosis happened.
  • The healthcare provider made a wrong diagnosis of your condition
  • You suffered an additional injury or your condition worsened following the misdiagnosis.

If you or someone you love has been misdiagnosed by a healthcare provider, you might have a medical malpractice claim against the healthcare provider in question. However, navigating a medical malpractice claim can be very complicated, and this explains why you need to understand your legal options before taking action against the negligent healthcare provider