An incorrect diagnosis from a medical professional can cause many life-changing problems. If this has happened to you, our specialist solicitors can pursue a claim to help get the justice you deserve.
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What is a medical misdiagnosis?
Doctors, nurses and surgeons are expected to diagnose a wide range of conditions and diseases, and to recognise damage caused by accidents to organs and limbs. In addition, they are required to offer appropriate treatment to their patients or refer them to someone else who can. Because the human body is complex, healthcare professionals won’t get it right every time, and the law doesn’t expect them to. However, what is expected is that the decisions they make and the steps they take to diagnose and treat their patients should be ‘reasonable’, and should be comparable to how other doctors or health professionals would act in a similar situation.
How do I know if my misdiagnosis was due to negligence?
A misdiagnosis can lead to incorrect treatment being given, delay in treatment or no treatment at all. In some cases, a misdiagnosis can be fatal. If a doctor fails to recognise your symptoms and prescribes the wrong treatment, fails to investigate appropriately or doesn't refer you to a specialist and this leads to health problems for you, they may be liable for medical negligence and you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation.
Situations that can lead to a successful misdiagnosis claim:
- Wrong diagnosis, leading to inappropriate treatment
- Missed diagnosis resulting in no treatment or delayed treatment
- Failure to spot symptoms of a serious underlying health condition
- Not recognising complications that change or worsen a condition
- Failure to diagnose a related disease
An incorrect diagnosis may mean that a patient is given surgery or medication for a condition that they don't have. This can include undergoing a treatment or procedure that is unnecessary, such as removal of tissue that has been wrongly diagnosed as being cancerous. It can also mean that the real condition goes untreated, causing additional pain and suffering and, sometimes, lead to the need for more invasive treatment. Additionally, by the time a proper diagnosis is made, your prognosis could be worse.