Misdiagnosis or Failure to Diagnose

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The Importance of Accurate Diagnosis

One of the most important aspects of quality medical care is obtaining a prompt and accurate diagnosis. It is the responsibility of your physician to identify clinical symptoms, order and interpret the appropriate tests, and refer you to a specialist when necessary. This is especially crucial for certain conditions, including rapidly growing cancers and bacterial infections. If a diagnosis is delayed or inaccurate, it can mean furtherance of the disease and may deprive you of preferred treatment options.

Why This Happens

As medical professionals learn more about the human body and how to treat disease, a delay in diagnosis seems less acceptable than ever.  There are several reasons for diagnostic errors, most of which are avoidable and due to carelessness or negligence.

One of the primary causes of misdiagnosis is an inattentive medical professional. Doctors who see large numbers of patients each day may not give their full attention to the patient they are seeing at the time. Secondly, doctors tend to downplay symptoms that are vague or uncommon as “nothing to worry about.” Competent physicians should never dismiss the concerns of their patients.

Furthermore, misdiagnosis is more common than ever due to our busy lifestyles and the fact that many of us do not have time to see one doctor on a regular basis. When we don’t feel well, we run into an immediate care facility and see whoever is available. Additionally, changes in insurance and healthcare coverage can require changing which doctors we see.

These changes are not the fault of the patient. Therefore, when a doctor is unfamiliar with a patient’s health history it is incumbent upon him or her to ask questions, order past medical records, and learn everything that is necessary to make an accurate diagnosis.

Consequences Can be Catastrophic

A delayed or inaccurate diagnosis may mean very little in some instances. However, it can be a matter of life and death for others. This is especially true in cases where cancer is missed during the early stages, only to be discovered by another physician or during an unrelated test at an advanced or incurable stage. Even a simple, bacterial infection can lead to hospitalization for septicemia (blood infection), pneumonia, or other complications if left untreated when it first occurs.

Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyer at Shea Law Group

If you feel that your health or the health of a loved one has been compromised by an inaccurate or delayed diagnosis by a medical professional, it is time to reach out to the dedicated Chicago medical malpractice lawyer at Shea Law Group. Our team of highly-skilled attorneys will help you determine what should have been done to prevent the injuries and complications you have sustained. There is absolutely no risk—never a fee unless we obtain a settlement for you.

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