What is negligent misdiagnosis?
Although we usually trust our healthcare professionals with their diagnoses and treatments, there are unfortunate cases in which they get it wrong.
When it comes to claiming for misdiagnosis negligence it is useful to know what form of misdiagnosis you are claiming for. The claims process can be quite complicated, so here at Hudgell Solicitors, we have provided you with information on three forms of common misdiagnosis negligence to make the process easier to understand.
The three types of misdiagnosis are an incorrect diagnosis, missed diagnosis and delayed diagnosis.
What is an incorrect diagnosis?
When a wrong diagnosis is made a patient can be given treatment and medication that was unnecessary and has worsened your health. This might result in physical or psychological injuries that would have been avoided with a correct diagnosis.
For example you may have been diagnosed with a serious condition and received treatment for the same that was unnecessary and might have even worsened your condition.
In a recent case we handled our client was wrongly diagnosed as having a terminal condition and received treatment that was completely unnecessary and caused further health problems before a correct diagnosis was made.
Wrongful diagnosis most commonly goes one of two ways. Patients can sometimes be given treatment for a diagnosis when it is completely unnecessary. In some cases, the treatment that is given but not needed can have a detrimental impact on the patient, meaning they need further, extensive treatment. The process of undergoing extensive treatments that are not needed can also have a substantial psychological impact on the patient.
What is a missed diagnosis?
A missed diagnosis occurs when a healthcare professional fails to recognise the disease or condition that is causing symptoms .
A common example would be a missed fracture that should have been observed on an x-ray.
This failure to diagnose means that the patient receives no treatment which may result in pain and suffering that could have been avoided or in some cases the lack of treatment then leads to the decline of the patient’s health. When eventually diagnosed at this late stage, the patient may need more intense treatment to recover.
What is delayed diagnosis?
Delayed diagnosis is when a patient is diagnosed only when they have entered into an advanced stage of illness. This can mean a patient will require more invasive treatment to help them return to health. This form of negligent misdiagnosis can lead to prolonged recovery time due to the type of treatment needed. In more serious cases, delayed diagnosis can have an impact on life expectancy.
Common claims arising from a missed or delayed diagnosis include:
- A failure by your GP to diagnose a cardiac problem and refer you to an appropriate specialist.
- Repeated treatment from a GP to treat symptoms whilst failing to appreciate and treat a more serious underlying condition such as cancer.
- A hospital failing to spot a fracture on an x-ray
- Incorrect cancer diagnosis leading to unnecessary chemotherapy treatment
- Failing to appreciate red flag symptoms associated with serious underlying conditions such as cauda equina syndrome.
These are the types of misdiagnosis negligence that are most commonly claimed for. If you are still unsure as to whether your treatment constitutes as misdiagnosis negligence, you can contact one of our friendly team for free and confidential advice on your circumstances.
Making a Misdiagnosis Claim
Our team of highly experienced medical negligence solicitors specialise in misdiagnosis claims and will work with you to gain answers around where it went wrong, demanding an apology as well as getting the assurance we need to know that the same mistakes won’t be made again.