The healthcare field is a challenging one. Whether you are a doctor, nurse, orderly, or you have any position attached to healthcare, a lot of pressure comes with the job. That can go along with long hours and sometimes not the best pay, either.
However, as someone working in the healthcare field, you have a lot of responsibility. You have to do your job as best you can, and that includes telling people what is happening with them when they come to you reporting symptoms. Sometimes, when a medical professional misdiagnoses someone, it can mess that person’s life up significantly.
We will talk about that a little bit more right now, and we’ll also go over what you might do from a legal standpoint if this happens to you.
How Often Does Healthcare Misdiagnosis Happen?
The first thing you’ll doubtless want to know is how often misdiagnosis occurs. Unfortunately, it happens far too often. Healthcare Misdiagnosis occurs from 80,000 to 160,000 times yearly.
Hardly ever does a doctor or some other medical professional misdiagnosis someone on purpose. That would violate the Hippocratic Oath they take when they become practicing doctors. That oath states they should first do no harm.
That is a solemn vow that no doctor or other medical practitioner should take lightly. There are times when a misdiagnosis can occur, though, and often, carelessness is the culprit.
Likely Misdiagnosis Reasons
A doctor might see some patient test results and hear about their symptoms, and they’ll make a diagnosis based on that. If everything points to a particular disease or injury, it should be pretty obvious what’s happening with that person.
You might have some symptoms that are less obvious, though. Ambiguous symptoms are much more likely to cause a healthcare misdiagnosis.
You may also have a doctor who’s distracted for some reason. Doctors and other medical professionals are human, just like everyone else.
A doctor who gets up in the morning and has a fight with their significant other before they leave for work is not going to be tranquil as they go about their day. They might misdiagnose a patient because they can’t get that earlier dispute out of their head. Maybe they are dealing with a misbehaving teenager, or a pet just died.
Anything along those lines can lead to a doctor making a healthcare misdiagnosis. When it happens, they might recommend a surgery that should not take place. They could put the patient on medication that can harm them instead of helping them.
What Can The Patient Do?
As a patient, it’s easy to feel bad for that doctor who made the mistake, assuming they didn’t mean to do it. Still, you can’t very well let them off the hook for it. Regardless of what’s happening in their life, they have a serious responsibility to give you the best care possible.
You can definitely hire an attorney and sue the doctor if you feel that is appropriate. What happened is a malpractice form, and that’s a reason for you to get financial recompense in court in many cases.
If you can find the right attorney for the job, they will advise you as to whether you have a case or not. They might be able to take you on and allow you to pay them on a contingency basis.
If your case goes to trial rather than the doctor or other medical professional settling with you, whether you win will probably depend on whether you can prove that the negligent doctor violated the care standard with their misdiagnosis. The care standard is something a doctor must meet, and the medical profession as a whole establishes it.
If you can get expert witnesses who will say that what the doctor did violated the care standard, you will probably win your case. Maybe you like your doctor, so it will not give you a lot of pleasure to make them pay you for their mistake.
On the other hand, that doctor did make a serious error, and you will have to deal with pain and suffering as a result. That’s not fair to you, especially if the doctor made a preventable mistake.
This will never be a fun experience for you, either the healthcare misdiagnosis, the physical and mental fallout, or the court appearance. You often need to go through with suing the doctor, though, because if you don’t, there is nothing to say they will not make a similar mistake again.