Drivon Turner & Waters,PLC

Misdiagnosed? You're not alone

A misdiagnosis can be a real threat to your health and safety. It's one of the main reasons that people file medical malpractice lawsuits, too.

Misdiagnoses can happen for a number of reasons ranging from a medical provider not ordering the correct tests to a provider not following up with a patient about medications and how treatments are working. When a provider gets the diagnosis wrong, the patient's illness may progress and worsen.

Depending on the patient and illness, the worsening of symptoms can end up being terminal, giving them little time to live when they should have been able to receive treatment if diagnosed in a timely manner. That's the major risk of a misdiagnosis.

What should you do if you are misdiagnosed?

It depends on the nature of the situation. If the misdiagnosis does not lead to harm, then there is not much that can be done. However, if you are misdiagnosed and end up in the hospital or struggling with a terminal illness, then you may be in a position to file a claim.

Diagnostic errors take place in up to 30 percent of all medical cases, so you are not alone if you find that your diagnosis doesn't match up with your symptoms. If you don't think that the diagnosis explains what you're going through, get a second opinion. This could be the way you find out if the first provider made mistakes and can give you the time to get the appropriate treatment.

As a patient, you need to trust your instincts. If a medical provider says you'll start feeling better in two or three days and you're not feeling better in four or five, don't rely on the diagnosis you received to believe that you're just healing slowly.

Seek out a second opinion, potentially immediately after the first, if you don't think that the provider got it right. Go back to your doctor, go to the emergency room or head to an urgent care clinic. Whether your medical provider isn't listening or you simply don't believe the diagnosis, it's in your best interests to get a second, and even third, opinion.

Doctors are human, and mistakes are sometimes made. When they affect you and your family, you can take action to make sure the provider covers your losses and understands their mistakes, so those errors won't happen again to anyone else.

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