Failure to diagnose medical conditions puts patients at risk

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One of the most frustrating things a person in Tennessee can experience is being sick but not knowing why or what exactly is wrong. We often trust our health to doctors and physicians who are trained to tell us what may be the cause of our suffering and how we can fix it. Unfortunately, many doctors go through an elaborate, and expensive, process of ruling out certain maladies instead of making a correct diagnosis.

Without knowing what is causing a specific medical condition, it can be impossible to treat it effectively. Left untreated, many medical issues can get much worse and will start to affect other areas of the body. In extreme, though not uncommon, situations, a person can die from an untreated illness. In fact, over 100,000 patients die from medical errors every single year.

From the first time a person goes to the doctor when they are not feeling well, symptoms should be recorded. Often times, a missed diagnosis is the result of doctors failing to consider the big picture of a patient’s history. This can lead to missed symptoms and connections that could make it much easier to find a diagnosis. Instead, some doctors and surgeons simply order test after test to ensure that a person’s immediate condition is not something else, without considering what it actually could be.

It can be difficult for a patient to understand various medical practices, and we generally can trust a doctor to use his or her years of education and experience to make a correct diagnosis. However, in cases when this does not happen, it might be necessary to seek a second opinion and legal advice, should a person’s health deteriorate as a result a doctor’s failure to diagnose a condition properly.

Patients should be able to expect that they will be treated with a standard level of care when they go to the hospital. When this expectation is not met, it is generally the patient who ends up paying the price. In order to hold negligent doctors accountable and to protect your own health, pursing a malpractice claim can be crucial.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Why Diagnosis Is the Key to Your Health — And the Health of the Nation,” Leana Wen, Jan. 4, 2013

  • Our Memphis, Tennessee, law firm works with patients who are concerned that they have been the victim of medical negligence. For more information on this subject and what rights a patient has, please visit our page on medical malpractice.