One of the most common forms of medical malpractice is an error or mistake in diagnosis. An improper diagnosis occurs when a doctor fails to identify the presence of a disease or notes the presence of a disease when the patient is in fact healthy. Diseases that go undetected can result in debilitating and permanent personal injury or even death. For example, a delayed diagnosis of cancer can result in the spread of the disease to a point beyond which medical intervention can help. The progression of a disease can result in substantially higher medical bills, pain and suffering for the patient and his or her loved ones and even death.
Diseases and injuries that are commonly misdiagnosed include:
* Ovarian cancer
* Heart disease, including acute myocardial infarction (heart attack)
* Lung cancer
* Pulmonary embolism
* Testicular cancer
* Bacterial meningitis
* Cervical cancer
* Prostate cancer
* Breast cancer
The failure to diagnosis a condition may be caused by improper treatment and testing or by the failure to recognize a patient’s symptoms due to lack of experience, competence, or attentiveness on the part of the doctor, nurse or other hospital staff. While even doctors make mistakes, patients should not have to pay the physical and financial price for those errors.