When most people are starting to experience physical symptoms of a possible illness, their first step is to report these symptoms to their doctor. There are many, many kinds of health conditions that can cause different symptoms. The average person who does not have any medical training is unlikely to be able to diagnose themself. Doctors, on the other hand, should be generally aware of the possible causes of a wide variety of symptoms their patients may report. Reporting your symptoms to a doctor should cue that doctor to begin investigating to determine what could be causing those symptoms. At the very least, a doctor should order tests to rule out potentially serious causes like cancers and physical injuries that will not heal on their own. Unfortunately, some doctors are too quick to dismiss their patients’ symptoms. If you were told that the symptoms you reported to your doctor were “probably nothing” and it instead turned out to be something quite significant, you may have experienced a missed or delayed diagnosis. This can be a form of medical malpractice.
Why Do Missed Diagnoses Happen in Medicine?
There are a number of reasons that doctors miss or delay important diagnoses. Sometimes, it comes down to a doctor failing to take their patients’ symptoms seriously and not properly investigating.Some patients have been told that their physical symptoms are “all in their head” rather than organic in nature. Late diagnosis also sometimes happens because a doctor is not familiar with the medical condition it turns out the patient was suffering from and did not know to order the right test.
What is the Harm Caused by Delayed and Missed Diagnoses?
Many if not most medical conditions are easier to treat when they are caught early. With medical conditions like cancer, catching them early can be a matter of life or death. A patient who could have beaten their cancer had it been detected early may well have become terminally ill by the time they are finally diagnosed. Early detection is an important aspect of patient outcomes. If your doctor failed to take appropriate action to diagnose your condition, and your condition deteriorated as a result, you may have suffered actionable harm.
Contact an Aurora Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur P.C. is experienced in helping people who have been harmed by medical malpractice recover the compensation they deserve. Our skilled team of Aurora medical malpractice attorneys will begin by carefully investigating your case to determine whether your doctor fell short of the standards of their profession. For a complimentary consultation, please contact us at 630-907-0909.