Common Diagnostic Mistakes Medical Professional Make

Bad diagnostic procedures can lead to improper treatment

We trust healthcare professionals to look out for our best interests. We respect their judgement and knowledge. Diagnosing a medical condition can be difficult. Most physicians make every effort to provide a proper diagnosis no matter how difficult, and run tests to confirm their diagnosis. But, when a doctor does not recognize or diagnose a serious problem, it can be fatal.

In New York State, to bring a medical malpractice claim, you must prove that the healthcare provider failed to care for you according to accepted medical standards. You must also prove that as a result of the medical malpractice, your condition has gotten worse. This is particularly true for improper diagnoses.

Improper diagnoses can change a curable condition to a fatal condition

To prove medical malpractice, you must prove that your physician gave you a wrong diagnosis (misdiagnosis), missed or delayed the diagnosis, or failed to recognize complications.

Recently Governor Cuomo signed Lavern’s law, which put a spotlight on medical malpractice related to proper diagnoses. In the case of Lavern Wilkinson, Kings County Hospital’s failure to correctly diagnose her cancer changed a curable cancer into a terminal cancer.

Lavern first went to the hospital in 2010 complaining of chest pain. They told her she was fine. Then she returned to the hospital with a breathing problem in 2012 and doctors discovered her previous X-ray showed a mass that should have been identified during her previous visit. By that time, it was too late. Lavern’s cancer had spread to other vital organs and the damage was irreversible and fatal. She died a year after getting the correct diagnosis and her family filed a malpractice claim on her behalf.

Getting the incorrect diagnosis is more common than you might think. The key to determining whether a diagnostic mistake is malpractice is the acceptable standard of care criteria. Would medical experts or licensing boards in the physician’s specialty say that the doctor followed the correct procedures? Even if the doctor failed to follow the acceptable standard of care, it may not rise to the level of medical malpractice. If the patient suffered no injury and didn’t get any worse, improper diagnoses may not qualify as medical malpractice.

Gathering the evidence needed to prove you have a medical negligence case that meets these four criteria be difficult and time consuming. You should contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible if you think you are the victim of medical negligence.

Get a free consultation with a Bronx medical malpractice attorney

If you think a medical error might actually be medical malpractice, contact Bronx medical malpractice attorney Evan W. Kohn for a free medical malpractice consultation. He will help you get appropriate compensation for your physical, emotional and financial injuries. Contact The Law Offices of Evan W. Kohn today. Schedule a free medical malpractice consultation about your case online or by calling 718-409-5500.

Attorney Evan Kohn
About the Author: Evan Kohn
Evan W. Kohn is an experienced personal injury attorney serving the New York City area. He handles cases ranging from auto accidents to personal injury, Slip and falls, truck accidents, and medical malpractice.