What Can Go Wrong When a Doctor Diagnoses You With a Condition or Illness?

What Can Go Wrong When a Doctor Diagnoses You With a Condition or Illness?
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Sadly, several things can potentially go wrong when a doctor diagnoses you with a health condition or illness.

The following overview will provide you with a good idea of exactly the sorts of problems you could face.

Misdiagnosis and Missed Diagnosis

Incredibly, in the United States alone, 12 million people are affected by medical diagnostic mistakes every year, and between 40,000 people and 80,000 people die from complications due to misdiagnosis each year.

Misdiagnosis refers to a situation in which your doctor, or another healthcare professional, diagnoses the wrong condition. For example, your doctor could diagnose your symptoms as flu when in fact you have Lyme disease.

Misdiagnosis is different from a missed diagnosis. An example of the latter would be a doctor determining that a small lump in a woman’s breast is benign when it is actually malignant.

When misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis happens, it can result in people not getting the treatment they require to improve their conditions or receiving the wrong medication or other treatment.

When missed diagnosis happens, people could end up not receiving any medication or other treatment. In turn, that could worsen the problem. It could even result in fatalities.

Late Diagnosis

Late diagnosis is another thing that can go wrong when a doctor diagnoses your symptoms. That means your condition is missed by the doctor and is only diagnosed correctly later on.

When that happens, you could miss out on important and timely treatments to prevent your condition from worsening. When some conditions reach advanced stages, medication and other treatments may not be as effective. Indeed, they may not work at all.

So, late diagnosis can seriously impact someone’s health, and, like misdiagnosis and missed diagnosis, it could potentially result in death.

Failure to Diagnose

Sometimes, doctors can fail to diagnose problems. While missed diagnosis typically refers to something like a breast lump that undoubtedly exists but is found to not be of concern when it is actually symptomatic of breast cancer, failure to diagnose means the doctor does not think there is any problem at all.

For example, you could have a persistent headache that is actually symptomatic of a serious health problem and your doctor simply dismisses it as a headache and nothing more.

Again, when failure to diagnose happens, it can cause conditions to worsen and even result in death because no treatment is provided to improve the condition. At the very least, failure to diagnose will typically result in people with health conditions being in pain and suffering for longer periods of time.

Failure to diagnose is considered to be medical negligence. So, if your doctor fails to diagnose your health condition, or if a failure to diagnose results in the death of a loved one, you should contact an experienced lawyer to help you claim the compensation you deserve and bring the doctor to account.

By doing so, you can also highlight medical negligence cases and contribute to helping ensure it does not happen to others.

What should you do?

If you think your doctor has misdiagnosed you because you continue to experience persistent symptoms, or you simply have a strong suspicion that the diagnosis is not correct, you should get a second opinion.

Another doctor could come to another conclusion. You could then receive the treatment you need to get better. You could also highlight the first doctor’s error and make him or her accountable.

The same applies to late diagnoses and failure to diagnose cases. The earlier your condition is correctly identified, the sooner you can get the treatment you need to get better or prevent your condition from worsening.

So, if you are doubtful about a doctor’s diagnosis, always see another doctor as soon as possible.


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Katherine Baldwin

Katherine is just getting her start as a journalist. She attended a technical school while still in high school where she learned a variety of skills, from photography to nutrition. Her enthusiasm for both natural and human sciences is real so she particularly enjoys covering topics on medicine and the environment.

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