Delayed diagnoses are a significant problem in the medical world. While a diagnosis is delayed, a patient often goes without a necessary treatment. Without the appropriate treatment, the patient’s medical condition could get worse or even end up becoming terminal.
Missed diagnoses are likely in some cases, like if a disease is very rare or there are few specialists to see in an area. However, it’s a medical provider’s job to do all he or she can to help a patient get an accurate diagnosis. Failing to do so because of not ordering tests or guessing at a diagnosis is unfair to the patient and potentially life-threatening.
What are some problems that occur because of missed or delayed diagnoses?
- Patients may receive the wrong medications or treatments for the wrong disease or illness
- Patients’ conditions worsen despite receiving treatment
- Patients develop mental health issues (anxiety, depression) as a result of their worsening health
- Patients live with pain or other symptoms on a regular basis that would otherwise be controlled.
What should you do if you’re misdiagnosed or receive a delayed diagnosis?
It’s a good idea to talk to your medical provider or other medical professionals to find out when this condition should have been identified. If there was a lapse because of mistakes or negligence, then you may have a medical malpractice case for the delay of an appropriate diagnosis. Our site has more information on delayed diagnoses and what to do if you have a worsened condition as a result of a medical provider’s oversight or negligent actions.