Failure to Diagnose - A Common Form of Medical Malpractice

by David Zevan on Nov. 07, 2014

Accident & Injury Medical Malpractice Accident & Injury Accident & Injury  Wrongful Death 

Summary: Failure to diagnose breast cancer is a common form of radiology malpractice.

An article published by Diagnostic Imaging in 2012 delved into the top medical malpractice cases involving radiologists. The research provides some useful information to improve the understanding of the most common mistakes made in this medical field.

Failure to Diagnose Breast Cancer

The discussion reviews a report from the Radiology journal which indicates that the failure to diagnose breast cancer was the most common medical mistake committed by radiologists. The research data showed that around three or four individuals for every 1,000 patients were subjected to a breast cancer missed diagnosis. Most of these cases showed that the typical cancer signs were missed by medical professionals. Although the patients were given the correct diagnosis at a later stage, the delayed treatment led to a number of long-term effects, which also affected the recovery of the patients.

Other Common Medical Errors

Misdiagnosis of various types of illness is the most common medical error that resulted in medical malpractice lawsuits against radiologists. In addition to breast cancer, the failure to take note of non-spinal fractures was considered the second most-common medical mistake. Rounding off the top five medical diagnosis mistakes were spinal fracture, lung cancer, and vascular disease. All these mistakes in diagnosis accounted for fourteen to fifteen individuals for every 1,000 patients. This is a considerable figure since it affects thousands of patients each year. Besides the problems in diagnosis, the study also showed that the common basis for lawsuits were associated with procedural issues, mistakes in communication between medical teams, and the failure to provide follow up tests.

Working with a St. Louis Medical Malpractice Attorney

Patients may not understand the fact that the ailment they are currently dealing with may have been missed earlier due to a doctor’s error. This is mainly due to the fact that patients are entirely dependent on the proficiency of medical professionals and the patient will trust the doctor completely. Patients may assume there was probably no way of detecting these ailments if the medical professional was not able to diagnose the illness at an earlier stage.

This does not automatically mean that doctors are capable of identifying all ailments at an earlier stage; however, it is necessary to comply with a set of recognized standards in the medical profession. In case a medical malpractice lawsuit is filed for a missed diagnosis, the opinion of an independent medical expert is sought to determine whether it was possible to diagnose the situation at an earlier stage or not. If the missed diagnosis was not reasonable, the medical professional may be held liable for medical malpractice.

If you or a loved one has suffered needlessly because of a doctor's negligence, please contact Zevan and Davidson Law Firm at (314) 588-7200.

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