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Failures to Diagnose

      Whenever a person suffers from an injury or illness, the physician is the first person to be approached. It is important to rely and place trust on the skills, education and experience of the doctor so as to have an effective diagnosis and treatment. However, doctors tend to betray this trust unknowingly on certain occasions. Incidents like overlooking certain set of symptoms, misreading lab test results and lack of time to listen to the condition of the patient can lead to disastrous diagnosis and treatment plan that can be fatal. This sort of situations is collectively called as medical malpractice. Failure to diagnose is a form of medical malpractice where a medical professional fails to diagnose a medical condition properly. Failure to diagnose can be referred to as negligence or incorrect performance of professional duties by health care providers.  

      Statistics clearly indicate that 40 percent of all medical malpractice claims are due to failure to diagnose. Failure to diagnose also involves a delayed diagnosis, particularly in conditions like cancer and heart attack, where timely treatment is very crucial. Misdiagnosis is also quite common in cases involving diabetes and hypertension. Although these diseases are serious, they do not lead to any rapid life-threatening conditions. Most commonly misdiagnosed conditions by the physicians in the U.S. include toxoplasmosis, otosclerosis, sleep disorders, osteoporosis, thyroid disorders, migraine, chronic lower respiratory tract diseases and Parkinson’s disease. 

     More responsible behavior is expected from medical practitioners to reduce the rates of misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis. However, the only way to prevent failures in diagnosis is to seek a second opinion from a specialist before accepting the treatment plan suggested by the original physician.

Failures to Diagnose

 

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