The Different Types of Misdiagnosis | Scartelli Olszewski, P.C.
misdiagnosis | scartelli olszewski

The Different Types of Misdiagnosis

Scartelli Olszewski P.C.
Scartelli Olszewski P.C.

Misdiagnosis is a critical issue in the healthcare sector, posing significant risks to patient safety and well-being. According to a study, an estimated 12 million Americans are affected by medical diagnostic errors every year. That’s an alarming amount of people across a spectrum of different illnesses and conditions that were not able to trust that their doctor accurately diagnosed them.

Now, to diagnose a patient, doctors must use their medical education, experience, knowledge, and considerable resources to determine what is wrong with their patients, and even then, it’s not easy. Some circumstances are more dire than others and leave them far less time to find the cause of the problem. There comes a point when a misdiagnosis goes from being understandable to medical malpractice, and it has a lot to do with the type of misdiagnosis.

The medical malpractice attorneys at Scartelli Olszewski P.C. explain what misdiagnosis is, the different types of misdiagnosis, and how we can help you get compensation.

What is a Misdiagnosis?

Misdiagnosis is a medical error that occurs when a healthcare provider inaccurately identifies a patient’s condition or illness. This might lead to them prescribing an incorrect treatment or no treatment at all. The problem then doesn’t get treated and goes on to cause more health issues.
Misdiagnoses can be caused by a variety of factors. These factors commonly affect whether or not a misdiagnosis is a form of medical malpractice. These factors include:

  • Inadequate medical history
  • Symptoms that are common to multiple diseases
  • Limitations in diagnostic testing

Misdiagnosis can lead to delayed treatment if it’s even caught at all. When it is finally discovered, the patient has likely already gone through unnecessary or harmful treatment. It’s important to seek a second opinion if you’re not confident in your diagnosis. Sometimes a misdiagnosis can take your long-term health or even your life.

All Types of Misdiagnosis

Now that you know what factors lead to misdiagnosis, it’s important to know the different types of misdiagnosis. The type can often inform you of whether you are the victim of medical malpractice or not. You can suffer from more than one type of misdiagnosis at once since some crossover. These types include:

  • False Positive: This is when a doctor tells a patient that they have a condition or illness that they do not have. If a doctor misidentifies a condition as another condition, then that would be a false positive.
  • False Negative: This is the opposite of a false positive. A false negative is when a doctor tells you that you don’t have the condition that you do, or any condition at all when you are sick.
  • Misinterpretation of Lab/Test Results: If a doctor misunderstands the results of a lab or test, it can lead to one of the previous stated types of misdiagnoses.
  • Lack of Communication: A doctor needs to communicate with their patient for them to learn their symptoms. If they don’t, this is a failure to communicate and a misdiagnosis.
  • Delayed Diagnosis: The doctor takes a long time to give you a correct diagnosis for a myriad of reasons.
  • Failure to Diagnose the Cause: If you’re in a situation where your doctor knows what condition you suffering from, but not what caused it, you are vulnerable to it happening again repeatedly.
  • Failure to Recognize Complications: The doctor does not take into account the health complications of a procedure, leaving you vulnerable to other health complications. This could be a vulnerable immune system, a heart attack or heart failure during surgery, and more.

What Should You Do If You Believe You Have Been Misdiagnosed?

The first thing you should do if you feel that your original diagnosis was incorrect is to see another doctor. Get a medical opinion until you find someone who will correctly diagnose you or explain why the original diagnosis is correct. You deserve to be healthy and to have your concerns treated with concern and respect. You deserve a doctor who will do that.

Once you do, or at least until you’re sure you’re healthy, contact the medical malpractice attorneys at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C. Misdiagnoses can leave long-lasting effects on your life if caught and an early death if they’re not. We’re available to help you. Contact us today.