The results of misdiagnosis can be devastating. Improperly labeled tissue samples, for example, can lead to an incorrect cancer diagnosis, when in fact, no such cancer exists. In addition to the emotional turmoil caused by this type of misdiagnosis, patients who are misdiagnosed with cancer often undergo unnecessary treatment that is harmful, painful and costly. It is especially devastating when a person is incorrectly informed that he or she does not have cancer. This provides a person with a false sense of security while the cancer progresses undiagnosed and untreated. Misdiagnosis of this type can lead to a worsening of the patient’s condition or painful death from a delay of treatment.
The Institute of Medicine reports that 98,000 Americans die annually and many others are seriously injured as a result of preventable medical errors. Many of these deaths are caused by misdiagnoses, delayed diagnoses, and a failure to diagnose. There are many reasons why a misdiagnosis can occur; misdiagnoses are often caused by physician error, miscommunications between physicians and other healthcare providers, and inaccurate reporting and interpretation of diagnostic studies. Tragically, many of these diseases and conditions are treatable if properly diagnosed. If a misdiagnosis occurs because a healthcare provider was negligent or failed to follow the appropriate standard of care, he or she can be held liable for damages with a medical negligence lawsuit. An experienced medical malpractice attorney from our law firm can answer your questions and analyze if a misdiagnosis has occurred.