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Missed Diagnosis Or Misdiagnosis. What’s The Difference?

On Behalf of | May 1, 2023 | Medical Malpractice |

People go to the doctor frequently. Most people go to the doctors for yearly checkups, while others have concerns for their health. In any case, people put their trust in their preferred medical professionals. 

However, doctors are only human and that means they make mistakes. Unfortunately, some mistakes have serious consequences. A patient may be a victim of medical malpractice, such as missed diagnosis or misdiagnosis. A missed diagnosis and misdiagnosis may seem like the same thing, but they have major differences. Here’s what you should know:

What Is A Missed Diagnosis?

A missed diagnosis occurs because a patient was never diagnosed with an illness or condition. As a result, the patient may never get accurate treatment and the medical condition can then worsen and even lead to death. A missed diagnosis is often caused by medical professional negligence. 

For example, a patient went in to have a small lump checked out. The doctor didn’t do any testing or observation and left the matter alone. Then later found out that the lump is cancerous. It could have been treated early if there wasn’t a missed diagnosis.

What Is a Misdiagnosis?

A misdiagnosis happens when a patient is given the wrong diagnosis. Typically, this occurs because the symptoms of the illness or conditions are similar to other medical conditions. As a result, the patient may be given the wrong treatment, medication or surgery or be denied the aforementioned solutions.

Taking the example above, a patient needs a small lump examined. The doctor diagnosed it as lipoma, a small fatty lump that doesn’t often doesn’t cause any harm. The lump was actually cancerous, but because of the wrong diagnosis, the patient never was given options to seek treatment.

If you believe you’re a victim of medical malpractice, then you may need to seek legal guidance to preserve your rights and receive the compensation that you’re due.