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Misdiagnosis and missed diagnosis: How could they affect you?

Going to the doctor is frightening enough without having to worry about your health care provider making a serious mistake. Getting help and receiving appropriate treatment is at the forefront of your mind.

You may not consider the possibility of suffering catastrophic injuries because of a medical practitioner’s negligence. If your trip to the hospital turns catastrophic due to a doctor’s mistakes, you may enter into the world of medical malpractice lawsuits.

How are misdiagnosis and missed diagnosis different?

You probably just want to know why you’re feeling unwell ⁠— but what if you can’t seem to get an answer, or the doctor gives you an incorrect one? You usually trust a doctor’s verdict because they’re the expert, right?

Unfortunately, doctors do not always come to the correct conclusion and could misdiagnose you or altogether miss a diagnosis.

misdiagnosis ⁠occurs when a doctor incorrectly identifies you as having a specific illness or health condition, which you really don’t have. Three conditions account for the majority of misdiagnoses that come with serious repercussions, including:

  • Infections
  • Cancers
  • Vascular events

To further specify, lung cancer, stroke and sepsis are most likely to be linked to misdiagnosis.

Meanwhile, a missed diagnosis occurs when a doctor fails to identity a serious, potentially life-threatening condition. When a doctor misses a diagnosis, it prevents you from receiving the care and treatment you desperately need.

When might your doctor miss a diagnosis? 

A doctor may initially deem a tumor as benign, only to later find out it’s cancerous. Or, a woman might go to the doctor with stomach pain. The health care professional could simply conclude she suffers from stomach problems, but in reality, it could be ovarian cancer.

A misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis could wrongly take years off your life and exacerbate your true health condition. Medical malpractice is a serious issue and represents a doctor’s negligence. While you can’t take back the time an inaccurate diagnosis may have cost you, you could have a case for seeking compensation.