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3 reasons patients are misdiagnosed or receive no diagnosis

You went to the doctor over a nagging pain in your chest. You were worried it could be heart-related, but your doctor insisted it was indigestion and pulled muscles in your shoulders and neck. Days later, you end up in the hospital with a mild heart attack due to an irregular heart beat. It might have been avoided if your doctor had checked your heart or ordered tests, but he did not.

Do you have a claim against your doctor? It's possible. Your doctor likely should have ordered a test or sent you to the hospital immediately if your heart could have been causing a problem. There are many factors to consider, but these are the three main reasons doctors fail to diagnose their patients.

Why do doctors fail to diagnose patients?

1. They fail to order tests

One of the first reasons that patients are misdiagnosed or never diagnosed at all is because the doctor does not order tests when he or she should. For example, if you go to the doctor complaining of pain in your arm from a fall, it would be obvious to most that you need an X-ray. If your doctor states that you're just suffering from a bruise and does not order tests and you then hurt yourself further by using the arm that actually had a break, then you could pursue a claim for negligence against that doctor.

2. They misinterpret results

Another reason some patients are misdiagnosed or go without a diagnosis is because their doctors misinterpret the test results. Sometimes, a test might come back borderline and need to be given again. Other times, a doctor simply skims over the results too fast and gives a patient the incorrect diagnosis.

3. They lose or mix up results

A third reason why patients suffer from a lack of a diagnosis is because of doctors, radiologists and labs confusing the results with those of another patient. For example, if you have a blood test done and another patient with the same name has a test done, the labs should make sure that your results are separated correctly by your birth dates and other recognizable differences. Your medical provider should check the results for accurate patient information before delivering those results to you. If the results are mixed up, you could be told you have a blood disorder that you don't, or the results could miss a condition that you do have.

If this happens to you, your attorney can help you file a claim against your doctor. You may need ongoing medical care due to the mistake, and you shouldn't have to pay for your doctor's negligence financially as well as physically.

Source: Nov. 30, -0001

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