Legal Guide

What to Do If You Have Been Misdiagnosed

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As patients, we put our trust and our lives in the hands of medical professionals. We feel assured that they are being thorough and that we are receiving the highest level of care. What happens when you suffer through a misdiagnosed condition? Who can you turn to for help?

The key to uncovering a misdiagnosis is being as proactive as possible about your health. If you feel like what you have been told about your condition just doesn’t seem right, you need to investigate further. Being self-aware and looking for answers could be lifesaving.

Over 12 million Americans are misdiagnosed every year. Those numbers are startling and can mean that you are vulnerable whenever you go to the doctor or emergency room. When a misdiagnosis occurs, patients need the medical community's support and advice from legal professionals like the Tinker Law Firm PLLC. Let’s take a closer look at what you should do if you have been medically misdiagnosed.

What Is a Misdiagnosis?

A misdiagnosis can be described as an error in the diagnostic process. It can result as a failure to diagnose correctly or in the absence of treatment. Most people perceive a misdiagnosis as a doctor or medical professional making a mistake over one illness for another. However, doctors can misdiagnose a patient through the delay of treatment or a lack of recognition of the complications of untreated disease.

How Does a Misdiagnosis Happen?

There are several ways that a patient can be misdiagnosed, including:

  • Doctors rush through a patient's visit and fail to recognize specific health issues.
  • Doctors fail to consult the patient's history when giving their opinion on health issues.
  • Misreading or misinterpreting test and lab results
  • Doctors failed to follow up with patients.

Steps to Take If You Are Misdiagnosed

A medical misdiagnosis can be physically and emotionally devastating for a patient. If you feel like you may have been misdiagnosed, you need to be proactive on your own behalf. Delaying action when you suspect you have been misdiagnosed could lead to critical health complications. If you fear that you have been misdiagnosed, follow these steps to protect your health:

            Make a Second Appointment

  • If you feel like your doctor has missed something during the diagnostic process, your first action should be to make a second appointment. Talk to your doctor about your concerns and let them know about the condition that makes you feel they may have missed something.

            Get a Second Opinion

  • On your return visit, if your doctor is dismissive and takes no action to rediagnose, it’s advisable for you to get a second opinion. The key to a successful second opinion is to keep your first results to yourself. When you tell the second doctor about your initial results, they may unintentionally start to look for those results instead of what is really to blame for your health issues. Tell your second opinion doctors about your problems and let them come back to you with an unbiased diagnosis.

            Educate Yourself

  • The internet is not always the best place to look for medical opinions and information. However, with the proper research and dedication, you can find out a lot about your condition on your own.

            Contact an Attorney

  • If your condition has been misdiagnosed and, as a result, you have endured further health issues and emotional damages, you should contact a lawyer to discuss your legal rights.

Being misdiagnosed can be frustrating and upsetting. In some cases, it can mean the difference between life and death. Take action today and follow these steps to get the medical advice you deserve.

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