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The Causes of Misdiagnosis Errors

Misdiagnosis Errors

Being sick is awful, especially if you don’t know what is causing it. People visit doctors to comprehend and get a diagnosis of their illness. Before beginning their careers, doctors and other medical professionals typically undergo rigorous training and education. However, no matter how competent and well-trained they are, there is always a chance of mistakes.

When doctors in New York give an incorrect diagnosis or commit other diagnostic mistakes during medical treatment, the results can be severe and even fatal to the patient. Due to the mistake, diseases and ailments are permitted to advance or spread, making them more difficult, if not impossible, to cure once a correct diagnosis is established. The data from a study from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine reveal that the most common reason for catastrophic medical errors is a medical misdiagnosis. One in three medical misdiagnosis errors ends in catastrophic injury or wrongful death.

What Is a Misdiagnosis Error

A medical misdiagnosis error, also known as a diagnosis error or an incorrect diagnosis, is when the cause of a disease or other issue is incorrectly identified by a medical professional. It can be a diagnosis that is delayed, incorrect, or overlooked. To identify the true problem, more tests or findings are frequently required. Untreated or improperly treated illnesses that were misdiagnosed can have a multitude of harmful effects on the patient. Misdiagnosis frequently causes patients to lose more than simply time and money. Diagnostic mistakes occasionally even result in potentially fatal consequences.

Misdiagnosis error is a type of medical malpractice. It commonly occurs when a doctor makes a diagnosis based on the symptoms that they are aware of and the tests they have run, but the ailment is truly something else entirely. A New York medical malpractice case may be based on failure to diagnose when a reasonably skilled and competent doctor would have been able to. Additionally, it can be the case that doctors included the right diagnosis on the differential diagnosis list but did not order the necessary tests or consult with experts to determine whether the diagnosis was valid.

How Common Are Cases of Misdiagnosis?

According to Fierce Healthcare, an estimated 12 million Americans experience a diagnosis error each year in a primary care setting, with 33% of these medical malpractice cases resulting in significant or permanent harm or death. An estimated 40,000 to 80,000 deaths are thought to be attributable to medical misdiagnosis each year in United States hospitals. Unfortunately, misdiagnosis errors are rather common in New York. One of the top US cities where medical malpractice claims are prevalent is New York City, with the majority of these cases involving the wrong diagnosis.

How Can I Tell if My Diagnosis Is Wrong?

One of the toughest experiences you may go through is getting the wrong diagnosis. Regrettably, misdiagnosis happens far too frequently in New York City. As a patient, you need to understand common signs that could point to a misdiagnosis.

Symptoms Cross Over With Different Conditions

Some diseases resemble one another quite a bit. It is easier to make sure your doctor is taking every precaution to rule out specific diagnoses if you have symptoms that could be related to more than one ailment. 

For example, lupus symptoms are frequently mistaken for those of rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, or other diseases that have similar symptoms. It can be difficult to distinguish between various medical conditions because there are so many of them. When symptoms coincide, some negligent medical professionals in New York will frequently make a diagnosis without considering other options, resulting in a potential misdiagnosis.

Your Doctor Did Not Receive All the Necessary Information

Every time you see your doctor, you should be able to provide all the important information about your health and condition. The doctor should be the one leading the conversation for you to properly share the specific information that they need. However, because they have so many patients to attend to, New York City doctors become busy and overworked and may rush your appointment.

Before diagnosing your disease, if your doctor doesn’t ask you many questions or you get the impression that they aren’t getting all the facts and information, there might be a problem. You must be aware of the relevant data that a reputable physician should gather. Examples include:

  • Medical history
  • Medication history
  • Previous treatments or surgeries
  • All of your specific symptoms

You Weren’t Given the Appropriate Testing

Your doctor can accurately diagnose your illness with the help of testing and examinations. Too frequently, some New York City doctors only perform the bare minimum of testing. It may be a sign of medical misdiagnosis if your doctor only ordered one test before giving you a diagnosis or telling you there’s nothing wrong with you. Call your doctor’s office and inquire about any necessary actions or tests if you believe something was overlooked.

The Diagnosis Doesn’t Match Your Second Opinion

You always have the right to seek a second opinion from a different physician to confirm your initial diagnosis. If the second doctor gave you a different diagnosis, then it can be a sign that your initial diagnosis is incorrect. However, there is also a chance that the second opinion is the incorrect one. You can go back to your original doctor and explain your second diagnosis. If you’re not satisfied with their justification and feel like the second opinion makes more sense, then it can be a sign that the first diagnosis is wrong.

Treatment or Medication Doesn’t Work

This is the most crucial sign to watch out for. Medications and treatments are provided based on your specific illness, and they come with a time frame for when you should start to feel better. If you follow the prescription exactly and reach the given time to feel better but your illness doesn’t improve, there is a probability that you were misdiagnosed and were given the wrong medical treatment.

Types of Misdiagnosis Errors

Misdiagnosis is a significant form of medical malpractice that can cause patients to get ineffective or unneeded care or to forgo the care necessary to prevent further consequences. Here are the common types of misdiagnosis errors in New York:

  • Wrong Diagnosis: This is the most common type of medical misdiagnosis error in which a doctor diagnoses a patient with a different or incorrect diagnosis. This will result in improper treatment or medication being administered. Furthermore, it will result in the patient’s correct diagnosis not being treated.
  • False Positive Error: False positive errors are a type of misdiagnosis error in which a careless doctor misdiagnoses a healthy patient with an illness from which they do not suffer. This could lead to wasted medical treatment, and it might even have unforeseen negative effects from the medications.
  • False Negative Error: This kind of misdiagnosis causes the patient to assume they are healthy even if they have the ailment for which they are being evaluated. A false negative misdiagnosis can be very damaging medical malpractice because the patient won’t get the right care or follow-up attention and will be sent home thinking there’s nothing wrong with them.
  • Delayed Diagnosis: A delayed diagnosis happens when your doctor finally determines the accurate diagnosis but it took some time. Unfortunately, one of the more frequent types of diagnosis errors is a late diagnosis, which can create problems and put patients in situations where it is already too late to properly treat them.
  • Failure to Diagnose Complications: When a doctor correctly diagnoses a patient’s ailment but overlooks specific complications or aggravating variables that could influence the course of the sickness or condition, this can still be referred to as medical malpractice or medical misdiagnosis. For instance, failing to recognize potential complications can be especially hazardous when a patient has diabetes, heart issues, or another illness known to develop complications.

Common Misdiagnosed Diseases in New York

  • Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis
  • Failure to Diagnose Lung Cancer
  • Delayed Cervical Cancer Diagnosis
  • Misdiagnosis of Ovarian Cancer
  • Delayed Melanoma Diagnosis
  • Skin Cancer Misdiagnosis
  • Failure to Diagnose Testicular Cancer
  • Influenza Misdiagnosis
  • Failure to Treat Heart Attack (Acute Myocardial Infarction)
  • Strokes Misdiagnosis
  • Wrong Diagnosis of Tuberculosis
  • Failure to Diagnose Pulmonary Embolism
  • Diabetes Misdiagnosis
  • Bacterial Meningitis Misdiagnosis
  • Appendicitis Delayed Diagnosis

Consequences of Misdiagnosis

There are numerous negative consequences of misdiagnoses. Receiving a misdiagnosis can prevent the proper treatment of a critical condition, lead to ineffective treatments, and significantly delay getting a proper diagnosis. It may lead to you paying for a more expensive course of treatment or eventually require spending additional money to pursue the proper diagnosis. 

Due to the absence of care, the health results can worsen, or even if treatment is administered, it can be treatments that worsen the existing undiagnosed condition. Unfortunately, misdiagnoses also cause acute emotional pain brought on by misplaced hope, and in extreme cases, cause death or bodily harm.

Causes of Misdiagnosis Errors

Even an established medical physician working at a reputable hospital can make mistakes. Doctors are only human, and people make mistakes. Here are some common causes of medical misdiagnosis errors:

  • Inadequate Experience: A doctor who is still learning needs constant monitoring to ensure that they are appropriately protecting their patients. An inexperienced doctor who treats a patient or a medical problem that they are not trained to handle can make a mistake in their diagnosis. A doctor should always send a patient to someone knowledgeable about their issue if they are unfamiliar with it. The symptoms of some disorders may not always be recognized by inexperienced doctors, and they may not always know when to request specific tests or how to interpret the results, which can result in an incorrect diagnosis.
  • Overconfidence: Because of their extensive training and experience, doctors could be overconfident when making diagnoses based on scant or insufficient evidence. As a result, overconfident clinicians may overlook changes in patients’ symptoms or potential issues with their initial diagnoses. This happens when they exaggerate their diagnostic prowess or misdiagnose as a result of prior experiences or preconceived notions about the patient. The medical professional tends to become biased due to prior patient symptoms and experiences.
  • Doctors Don’t Have Enough Time With Patients: One of the most frequent reasons for diagnostic errors is a lack of time with the patient. It may be challenging for some doctors to get to know their patients and their problems due to their heavy caseloads. Patients may not be able to share all of their problems during the brief time they have with their doctors, missing a significant amount of information to accurately diagnose the condition. The scenario can repeat itself if patients don’t go back to the same doctor because, for example, they are referred to a new specialist, giving the new doctor a limited understanding of the patient’s illnesses and further delaying accurate diagnoses.
  • Insufficient Diagnostic Testing: Multiple diagnostic tests are frequently required to obtain a complete picture of the state of the patient’s condition. When a doctor doesn’t order enough tests, it may lead to a mistake because the doctor wasn’t able to thoroughly investigate the symptoms with more tests.
  • Limited Resources: A misdiagnosis can occur because of a lack of resources to perform the necessary tests to accurately diagnose the patient’s condition. While some community health clinics have ties to laboratories or imaging facilities, not all of them do. The lack of ease of accessibility to certain testing can prevent medical professionals from ordering them. Referring a patient to a third-party facility for imaging and findings might be a drawn-out procedure, resulting in a half-hearted diagnosis. Furthermore, due to insurance restrictions, such as patients’ insurers not covering the cost of testing and patients not wanting to pay for this testing out of pocket, doctors may not order enough tests.
  • Not Enough Follow-Up: One reason for misdiagnosis is that doctors routinely fail to follow up with the patients. Patients frequently don’t see the same physician throughout their treatment. This can be a result of them switching doctors or getting referred to different medical professionals. In other instances, doctors may merely assign the responsibility of the follow-up to their patients, instructing the patient to phone them if something happens. However, in New York City, it is unlikely for doctors to go above and beyond to check in with patients, inquire about changes in their health, and take into account the chance that a misdiagnosis error was made at a previous visit.

Who Is Responsible for a Misdiagnosis?

Even when exerting reasonable care, skilled doctors can and do make diagnosis mistakes. As a result, the doctor who pronounced the misdiagnosis will be usually responsible for the misdiagnosis error. However, in some situations, an entire medical facility, the lab technician, or the pharmacy may be to blame. Regardless of who is at fault, patients deserve compensation.

You may have a strong medical malpractice case if a doctor misdiagnosed your disease and it caused your condition to worsen. A patient may be entitled to seek compensation by filing a medical malpractice lawsuit and medical malpractice claim if a doctor fails to diagnose a dangerous medical condition accurately and promptly.

Who Can Help if I Have Been Misdiagnosed?

The medical malpractice of misdiagnosis errors is very common in New York City. In over half of these situations, patients could suffer great harm from an inaccurate diagnosis. If this occurs to you or a family member, you may be entitled to seek monetary damages for the harm or suffering you have endured. You should be aware that the costs of medical malpractice shouldn’t fall on you.

Do not hesitate to seek immediate help if a misdiagnosis has impacted you or someone you care about. A reliable malpractice lawyer can help you in exploring all of your options and get the treatment and compensation you deserve.

What Can a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Do To Assist Me if I Have Been Misdiagnosed?

A trustworthy malpractice lawyer is knowledgeable and skilled in handling a medical malpractice case, and they can provide you with all the support and assistance you need to seek the care and compensation you need for the damage and problems that the misdiagnosis has caused you.

Secure a Certificate of Merit

A certificate of merit is required before you may claim medical malpractice resulting from a misdiagnosis. This document establishes the basis for medical malpractice claims or lawsuits by demonstrating that you have a health issue and that another healthcare practitioner in the same setting would have appropriately diagnosed it.

In New York City, you’ll have a very limited amount of time to earn a certification of merit, so getting one on your own can be difficult. However, with the help of trusted medical malpractice attorneys, they can locate a medical professional to vouch for your condition using their network of contacts. Additionally, they can make sure that your certificate of merit contains all the information required by the state.

Obtain More Evidence To Support Your Claim

Dedicated lawyers for misdiagnosis can compile additional evidence to strengthen your claim of medical malpractice. These particulars consist of:

  • Medical Records: These records can demonstrate that you had a medical issue that was incorrectly diagnosed. This will include details of your ailment and how it affects your quality of life.
  • Healthcare Consultants’ Testimony: Your medical malpractice lawyer can consult with doctors to establish the impact of the misdiagnosis and what could have been done to handle your medical malpractice case effectively. Malpractice attorneys will speak with specialists in the relevant departments of medicine.
  • Your Receipts for Damages: Your finances may also suffer as a result of a misdiagnosis. Your medical malpractice attorney will compute the cost of your previous and future medical care using your medical bills, receipts, and invoices. They will even examine your employment history to determine the impact on your income, lost wages, and possibilities for future earnings.

Will Be by Your Side Throughout the Entire Case

A reputable medical malpractice attorney will fight for you to get the verdict. Medical malpractice attorneys know the necessary to calculate the value of your claim. They are well-versed in this matter and have the skills and knowledge to guide and support you, informing you what needs to be done and covering all the complicated things on your behalf. They will act as your advocate and have a successful plan to obtain the best settlement and the appropriate compensation for you.

Top-Rated Law Firm in New York City

Given how crucial a misdiagnosis error is for the health and finances of a person, you should have reputable and trusted New York medical misdiagnosis attorneys from a trusted and reliable law firm. The Pagan Law Firm is the top-ranked law firm in New York City with a track record of proven results. Throughout the years, we’ve helped people’s lives transform by providing top-notch legal service, fighting for them to get the life they deserve.

If you or a loved one is suffering from a misdiagnosis error, you don’t have to fight the battle alone. The medical malpractice lawyers of the Pagan Law Firm are available to help. Click here for a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you handle your medical malpractice claim and get the compensation that you deserve.