To err is human, but misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis have no place in the medical profession, regardless of the factors that contributed to the mistake. If you or a loved one has been a victim of this form of medical malpractice, filing a suit through a medical malpractice attorney is the best way to protect your rights and hold responsible parties accountable.
The Little Rock medical malpractice lawyers at Collins, Collins & Ray can help you get the compensation you deserve! Contact us today for a free initial consultation with our experienced medical misdiagnosis attorneys.
The Impact of Medical Misdiagnosis & Delayed Diagnosis
Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the U.S. next to heart disease and cancer; while medical misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis top the list of most common medical errors, accounting for over 250,000 deaths in the U.S. yearly.
While that number is concerning, it is hardly surprising considering patients can only get cured of their illnesses if their diagnoses, and therefore, their treatments, were accurate and timely in the first place. Aside from wrongful death, a medical misdiagnosis or late diagnosis can lead to the direct introduction of new dangers to a patient, as when a heart surgeon performs a critical procedure like coronary artery bypass graft surgery on someone who may not actually need it.
Who Can Be Held Liable for Medical Misdiagnosis?
Ask any misdiagnosis lawyer and they will tell you the same thing: the concept of medical malpractice extends far beyond the conduct, or misconduct, of the medical doctor. Every health professional who has played some role in the complainant’s misdiagnosis could be at fault, including:
- The doctor
- Doctor’s assistant
- Lab technicians
- Other medical professionals
Sometimes, a hospital or clinic may be held liable because of flawed or antiquated regulations, or simply by the legal doctrine of “respondeat superior,” which holds a party vicariously liable for the acts of its agents. Even a pharmaceutical company could be held liable if it failed to warn the doctor of its product’s adverse effects.
However, determining the involvement of different parties is a task best left to an attorney familiar with medical misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis claims. Our medical malpractice lawyers can help you file a claim and navigate the extremely complex case from our years of combined legal experience.
Causes of Medical Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis
Research published in the International Journal of Healthcare Management tells us that medical misdiagnosis and delayed misdiagnosis could be caused by ordinary cognitive lapses among medical care providers, such as errors in patient data collection processes and the inability to detect crucial data.
Generally speaking, the most common reasons observed behind diagnostic errors include:
- Misrepresentation of signs and symptoms (by the patient)
- Suspicious test results not reported or acted upon immediately or at all
- Inability to perform the right tests based on symptoms
- Inadequately trained medical care providers
- Symptoms that mimic those of other medical conditions
- Incomplete medical and/or medication history of the patient
- Misinterpreted diagnostic reports (CAT scans, X-rays, etc.)
- Mixed up or missing patient records and test results
- Miscommunication in the health team
- Defective diagnostic test handling protocols
- ER staff fatigue
- Doctors’ overconfidence and personal biases (for example, if a patient looks unable to afford an expensive test, the doctor may not prescribe it even if it’s crucial to making a correct diagnosis)
Contact Us for a Medical Misdiagnosis Claim in Arkansas
If you or a loved one experienced medical misdiagnosis or late diagnosis, the medical malpractice attorneys at Collins, Collins & Ray in Little Rock can discuss your options with you. Let us help you hold the responsible party or parties accountable. Contact the CCR Law Firm today!
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