When someone or their family member goes to an Illinois doctor’s office, they hope the presiding physician makes an appropriate diagnosis. Unfortunately, a doctor might make a mistake and diagnose a severe problem as something minor. Diagnosing throat cancer as strep throat would be a highly egregious example. Telling someone with a broken arm they only have a sprain might be another.
Misdiagnosing a medical condition
Medical malpractice doesn’t always involve what someone did but also what the person did not do. Failing to check someone’s vitals, not asking about allergies to medicine, or otherwise omitting critical steps for care may lead to a patient’s harm. Expect the responsible party to face a negligence suit, especially when poor or irresponsible care leads to a misdiagnosis.
Medical malpractice cases involving misdiagnoses could be far more common than people realize. According to a report published in 2019 by John Hopkins Medicine, more than 100,000 deaths or permanent disabilities result from a misdiagnosis. The aftermath could be devastating for patients and family members.
Losses and medical malpractice
The apparent problem with a misdiagnosis is that the patient’s necessary medical care is delayed. An underlying condition could become worse until an appropriate diagnosis happens. For some, the delays could have fatal consequences.
Medical malpractice and misdiagnoses might cause someone to suffer financial consequences. If things worsen, the patient might need to pay for additional care or other expenses to cover inabilities to perform specific tasks.
Psychological problems may result as well. The stress and aggravation of a worsening medical condition due to malpractice might cause depression and other mental health issues. Such issues could require care. A medical malpractice lawsuit or insurance claim might be the only way to recover any compensation.