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Medical Malpractice: What is Misdiagnosis?

Were you misdiagnosed with a disease or illness? Did this misdiagnosis cause you harm? Here's what you need to know about medical malpractice.

When it comes to your health, you deserve to feel as well as possible. You visit your family physician or specialist in order to receive the diagnosis you need in order to heal. Whether you're dealing with a chronic problem or something acute, the right medical professional should help you move forward on the path of healing: not harm you. Unfortunately, some adults experience a misdiagnosis that can lead to even more medical problems. Some of these problems can be quite large and difficult to deal with. Fortunately, a medical malpractice attorney may be able to help you. Here's what you need to know about misdiagnosis.

What is misdiagnosis?

If you visit your physician or specialist with a specific health problem, they might run tests to determine what is wrong with you. Your physician may use a variety of methods in order to provide you with a diagnosis. For example, they could ask you questions about your experiences and symptoms. They might want to know about your lifestyle. Then your provider will typically run a variety of tests to rule out certain illnesses and to narrow down the possibilities in order to diagnose you with something. Unfortunately, sometimes medical professionals make mistakes. An incorrect diagnosis can be quite dangerous in some cases. For example, if your medical professional diagnoses you with the wrong illness and treats you with strong medication, you could have an adverse reaction to that medication, including long-term side effects. Additionally, a misdiagnosis prevents you from receiving the help you need in order to heal from your actual medical problem.

How does misdiagnosis occur?

Misdiagnosis can occur in a variety of ways. When you meet with your provider, they will examine you, consider your medical history, and discuss ways to help you with your condition. Sometimes, a provider may fail to run necessary tests in order to offer a correct diagnosis. This can result in them diagnosing you with an illness you do not have and treating you for that incorrect disease. It may also result in a lack of treatment, which can further complicate your current health problems. In other cases, a test may be performed incorrectly. Human error can mean faulty equipment is used that doesn't offer a correct diagnosis. In some cases, the provider may mix up lab results or input data in the wrong patient's file. If your provider lacks advanced training, they may simply be unaware of which tests they need to run in order to diagnose you. All of these elements can contribute to a wrong diagnosis.

What can a victim do?

If you suspect you have been the victim of medical malpractice, make sure you gather any voicemails you have, medical records, notes from your physician, and medical bills. Your attorney will need as much information as possible in order to help you with your case. You'll need to provide as much evidence and proof as possible in order to move forward with your case and to receive any compensation you are owed as a result of the misdiagnosis.

No matter what type of serious misdiagnosis occurred, make sure you speak with a medical malpractice attorney who can help you. Your attorney will review your case, ask you specific questions, look over any documents you have, and talk with you about your options. They'll be able to let you know exactly what you can expect, as well as what steps you need to take in order to proceed with a medical malpractice case. Make sure you act quickly. It's important to talk with someone about medical malpractice as early as possible for the best results.

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