Failure to Diagnose
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Medical Malpractice: Failure to Diagnose
This conclusion was reached by a study of patient deaths between 1994 and 1996 at the prestigious Cleveland Clinic, and published in the journal Chest. These findings, researchers said, closely mirror what goes on in ICUs across the country and have not changed dramatically since the study's conclusion.
These medical providers are not necessarily guilty of medical malpractice because by definition, people admitted to ICUs are extremely ill and some of them have multiple medical problems. But if the medical providers reached the wrong conclusion because they failed to take an adequate medical history, perform the right tests or recognize the obvious symptoms of a particular illness, and their misdiagnosis is compounded by errors that would not be expected of any well-trained physician, their conduct may be considered malpractice.
A doctor may be liable for a misdiagnosis if:
- The patient is treated for a disease he does not have and the treatment causes injury,
- The patient expects treatment of one condition, but has obvious symptoms of another,
- The patient receives medical advice that prevents treatment for a condition that later causes harm.
It is important to realize that any health care provider, in any field, can misdiagnose virtually any condition to which a human being is subject. Diseases or conditions that are missed are not exotic or particularly rare. They are the ones that physicians will see most frequently over the course of their career. In the assembly-line medicine that is practiced today, these kinds of errors are all too common due to poor medical training, incomplete or rushed examinations, fatigue, or reliance on information from third-parties, such as nurses, assistants or even other doctors.
If you believe you or someone you know has been misdiagnosed and caused harm, you should seek legal counsel immediately.