Misdiagnosis is a very broad, sweeping term that potentially covers every single medical interaction there can be. It also forms the basis of the largest percentage of medical negligence compensation claims.
While we enjoy a health service that’s second to none, the fact of the matter is that every now and then a doctor, a dentist, a surgeon, or any other practitioner or clinician will get it wrong. And that can have painful, lasting consequences for the sufferer, including missing out on crucial treatments. We have a unique understanding of this area as we’ve had years of experience in dealing with all the different aspects of misdiagnosis claims and medical negligence.
One of our films demonstrates the potential consequences of a misdiagnosis – in this case, a misdiagnosed eye condition.
Misdiagnosis comes in different forms so here’s a quick overview as to what kind of levels we’re talking about and what you should be looking out for if you’re considering a medical negligence compensation claim:
This is when your doctor or clinician totally gets it wrong, diagnosing an incorrect ailment, disease or condition. The repercussions on your subsequent medical treatment will be completely affected by this because you may be being treated for something you do not have. The other side of the coin with severe misdiagnosis is that your doctor fails to spot what your ailment is in the first place. If it’s a potentially life-threatening disease like cancer, the failure to diagnose it from the outset can be absolutely disastrous.
The lines are a bit blurrier here, but it essentially means when your doctor diagnoses the basic disease correctly but misdiagnoses the subtype, or doesn’t determine its subtype at all. Not sure what we mean? Here’s an example. Diabetes is a known condition affecting more and more people every day but there’s a significant difference between Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes. (With Type 1, you have to inject yourself with insulin several times a day and it needs to be managed very carefully. Type 2 can generally be handled through diet, pills and exercise.) Same disease, very different subtype, very important to get the diagnosis right from the start.
So where can a misdiagnosis lead you? As this is such a broad topic, here are just a few examples of what a doctor or clinician’s failure to determine what’s wrong with you could actually mean:
- A serious illness is allowed to progress unchecked or without being correctly treated
- You are prescribed incorrect medication due to the misdiagnosis of your condition. This could result in a worsening or prolonging of your ailment.
- You are given treatment for a wrong condition. Imagine being sent for an operation if you don’t really need one. It may sound improbable but it has actually happened.
- Your treatment is delayed because of misdiagnosis so your condition gets worse. It could even become terminal.
- The wrong limb is amputated.
- Misdiagnosis in pregnancy related cases can result in damage to the mother and to the unborn baby.
- You are not sent for the tests you need to fully determine or cure your condition.
- You are not given the requisite follow-up to your results.
- Your test results are misread or not properly assessed.
As we’ve said before, misdiagnosis claims cover such a broad area that it’s almost impossible to encapsulate them all. But what is much more tangible is the feelings we continually see of clients who have been misdiagnosed and subjected to medical negligence. They feel betrayed, afraid, unsure of what lies ahead for them, angry, frustrated and powerless. We get that – we’ve seen every variant of every emotion and we know exactly where you’re coming from. And with us on your side, the one thing you won’t be is powerless. Because you’ll have the back-up of highly trained and experienced solicitors working tirelessly on your behalf. We won’t rest until we absolutely get the best result for your compensation claim so that you can put this awful misdiagnosis experience behind you and get on with your life.