Probably the most important job of a doctor is to understand a patient’s condition and make the correct diagnosis. Even the most trained and knowledgeable doctor can make a mistake in making a diagnosis. When a doctor negligently fails to diagnose cancer, heart condition, stroke, cardiac infection, strep, or another serious medical condition, the results can be catastrophic.
A doctor cannot properly treat a patient without first properly diagnosing the condition. Proper diagnosis is therefore the most important step in the treatment process. Medical providers are responsible for recognizing potential medical problems and making the proper diagnosis in the early stages of treatment. This means that doctors must perform tests that a reasonable medical professional with the same knowledge would perform.
Doctors sometimes fail to properly diagnose patients who have suffered a stroke or other cardiac problems because the symptoms of these ailments can vary greatly. Still, all medical providers are required to know potential symptoms and recognize them in patients. Also, doctors are required to perform specific tests and diagnostic procedures for patients who have any type of cancer symptoms.
Failure to diagnose cancer, for example, represents the biggest portion of medical malpractice cases. Not identifying cancer in its early stages can be fatal. If cancer is not diagnosed timely and properly, it may be too late for treatment options that could have saved a patient’s life if started earlier.
Recent advances in medicine have made many once untreatable diseases treatable. When medical professionals fall below the requisite standard of care and act negligently, they may be guilty of medical malpractice. If a medical provider fails to properly diagnose a medical condition or disease, our experienced attorneys are ready to protect your rights.