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Missed diagnosis is not the same as misdiagnosis

On Behalf of | Jan 13, 2021 | Medical Malpractice

Anyone in Delaware whose medical condition worsened after seeing a doctor might be unsure of their legal rights. Medical malpractice is a complicated field of the law, with establishing proof of a medical professional’s negligence or failure to uphold accepted standards one of the most significant challenges. If the claim involves errors regarding diagnosis, it is crucial to understand the difference between misdiagnosis and a missed diagnosis.

A case of missed diagnosis involves a doctor who examines a patient and provides no treatment because no illness is diagnosed. If it turns out that the doctor overlooked the health issue, the patient’s health could deteriorate as secondary ailments or infections could develop. It could leave the patient feeling depressed and hopeless.

If, however, the doctor diagnosed a condition incorrectly, it is called a misdiagnosis. When this happens, the patient receives treatment for a non-existent condition, while the actual illness remains untreated. Furthermore, the patient might suffer adverse reactions or serious side effects of unnecessary medical treatment. Ultimately, the misdiagnosis could lead to worsened health problems.

For a viable medical malpractice claim, the patient must establish the following conditions:

  • Proof that the patient was owed a professional duty.
  • Proof to show a breach of that duty.
  • Proof that illness or injury resulted from the breach.
  • Proof that the breach caused the patient to incur damages or losses.

When a medical malpractice claim is filed in Tennessee, the plaintiff must show that the incurred damage and losses were preventable. It could involve failing to conduct appropriate tests, the diagnosing medical professional’s lack of oversight or the professional’s failure to deliver the necessary health care services.