Failure to diagnose is a leading cause of lawsuits against doctors

A medical professional failing, to diagnose cancer or another serious illness, can have detrimental effects on residents of Pike County. When an individual's cancer goes undiagnosed, or it is diagnosed too far along in the illness, the effects can have an impact on the patient's ability to lead a normal life and contribute to a higher chance of fatality.

Missed diagnosis and lawsuits

A recent study found that failure to diagnose diseases, like cancer, is one of the most common reasons patients are suing their doctors. According to Fox News, the study looked at information that was collected regarding medical malpractice claims from the U.S., France, Canada, and Australia. The combined results of this study found that approximately 26% to 36% of claims filed against medical professionals were due to the doctor failing to diagnose diseases such as cancer, heart attacks and meningitis in children.

As a result of these missed diseases, the study also found that the majority of patients that filed a claim against their doctor for failing to diagnose them ended up dying. However, a researcher from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland stated that a majority of patients that have a doctor who failed to recognize cancer or another disease do not ever file a claim against their doctor. It is difficult to know exactly how far-reaching the effects of missed diagnoses are.

Although many lawsuits are filed because of a medical professional's inability to diagnose a disease, the patient should also be proactive about their health. For example, a study done by the Harvard Medical School examined the medical records of 100 women that were diagnosed late or found breast cancer in the later stages of the disease. The study found that while many women received inadequate physical exams and inconsistent care, the patients were also partially responsible for their demise.

Communicating with your doctor

Individuals that suspect they have a serious medical issue should be proactive about receiving the care that is necessary for them to recover. Patients should effectively communicate with their doctor and do things like:

  • Get to know their medical history
  • Write down any symptoms they are experiencing
  • Bring in any medications they are taking when they visit the doctor
  • Describe their pain without making conclusions about what could be causing it
  • Be specific about their symptoms and avoid generalities
  • Ask their physician plenty of questions

Although patients can do their best to stay on top of their own personal health and be aware about the medical issues they are experiencing, many doctors fail to provide their patients adequate information about their disease, or fail to diagnose them all together. If your doctor was unable to detect a serious illness, such as cancer, before it was too late, talk with a personal injury attorney that can help you assert your legal rights.