A failure to diagnose an illness is one of the most devastating and dangerous medical mistakes a doctor can commit. It can take the form of either not noticing symptoms of an illness and therefore not diagnosing one, or misdiagnosing an illness when a patient actually has a different condition.
While diagnosing is one of the more difficult tasks for a doctor, it is also essential to a patient’s health. Some of the most common missed diagnoses are also some of the most serious, so make sure your New York doctor is looking closely at your concerns.
1. Failure to Diagnose Cancer
In general, one of the best ways to fight cancer is to catch it early, which makes a failure to diagnose any kind of cancer all the more dangerous. This can occur if a doctor fails to notice something in an x-ray or mammogram, or ignores information on a blood test. It is also possible for a doctor to fail to diagnose cancer by not listening to a patient, such as if the doctor ignores certain symptoms and diagnoses a minor issue rather than considering cancer and ordering testing.
2. Failure to Diagnose Heart Disease
Heart disease or failure is a serious condition, but there are many ways medical professionals can address it. All of them require a proper diagnosis, however, which means doctors need to run tests to look for heart disease. There are quite a few different tests available to medical personnel, and often multiple tests have to be used and considered together for a diagnosis. By only performing one test, when three or four might be needed, a doctor can miss information and fail to diagnose heart failure before it becomes fatal.
3. Failure to Diagnose Appendicitis
Appendicitis is one of the most commonly missed diagnoses for doctors, which is tragic considering how potentially fatal it is. As many as one in three patients with appendicitis have an initial misdiagnosis and are only properly diagnosed after seeking additional treatment. Should a doctor fail to run blood work or listen to the symptoms described by a patient, he or she can be held responsible for such a reckless disregard for the patient’s health.
Medical malpractice of any kind, especially a failure to diagnose, is very difficult to prove. You need an experienced, knowledgeable attorney by your side to fight for your rights. If you or a loved one has suffered due to medical malpractice, call us at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, today at (212) 986-7353.