Receiving a correct diagnosis for cancer or other serious medical condition is critical especially if a condition or cancer is wrongly diagnosed, treatment is often delayed or incorrect. This error can cause catastrophic results for the patient, ranging from increased health complications because of improper treatment, to death from lack of proper care.
When a medical professional fails to properly diagnose and treat a condition that is life-threatening or severe, this person may be liable for harm caused to the patient.
Commonly Misdiagnosed Illnesses
Some illnesses and conditions are easier to recognize and diagnose than others. According to AARP.org, the following are some commonly misdiagnosed illnesses.
- Parkinson’s disease
- Lyme disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Celiac disease
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
All of the above are considered very serious health conditions. Lyme disease, for example, can cause permanent damage to the heart, joints, and nervous system. Lupus is also dangerous; it is an autoimmune disease that attacks healthy tissues and organs in the body.
Cancer, like the above conditions, is also a very severe illness. Like the conditions above, certain forms of cancer are often commonly misdiagnosed.
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Dangers of Misdiagnosing Cancer or a Serious Medical Condition
Properly diagnosing cancer and other serious medical conditions is pertinent to a patient’s health. When a condition is misdiagnosed, a patient is often put in danger of severe health repercussions.
The most obvious reason that a misdiagnosis is dangerous is that it prevents a patient from receiving the care that needed in order to treat the condition. For example, a patient with cancer may need to start on chemotherapy immediately in order to get treat the cancer; if the cancer is misdiagnosed, though, chemotherapy may not be administered, leading to the cancer’s spread through the body.
The second, and less obvious, reason that misdiagnosis can be extremely dangerous is that in some cases, a patient will begin undergoing treatment for an illness that one does not have. For example, a patient may experience the severe side effects of chemotherapy if misdiagnosed with cancer, when in actuality not having cancer.
Who’s liable for harm caused by a misdiagnosis?
Medical professionals have a duty to provide their patients with a high standard of care. If a healthcare professional misdiagnoses an illness or a cancer because he or she failed to exercise proper care, run specific laboratory work, perform certain examinations, or anything else that would be considered reasonable by the medical community, then he or she may be liable for any injuries that resulted from the misdiagnosis.
If a medical professional is sued for misdiagnosis in a medical malpractice claim, and is found to have acted negligently, then the victim can reclaim damages for economic and noneconomic losses.
This includes medical costs to address the harm related to the misdiagnosis, as well as any lost wages and other costs or losses that result. Pain and suffering damages may also be recoverable.
Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney from Chalik & Chalik
The medical malpractice attorneys at Chalik & Chalik can help you recover compensation for injuries you or a deceased love one sustained as a result of a misdiagnosis of a medical condition or cancer. At our law offices, our attorneys have the resources available to ensure your case is handled fairly, professionally, and with the utmost care. If you’re ready to speak with an attorney today, call us now for a free case consultation. You can reach us at 855-529-0269, or use our online contact form to set up your appointment.