Medical Negligence
By Naomi White
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Preserving Health and Preventing Harm: Navigating The Maze of Medical Misdiagnosis

Medical Negligence and Misdiagnosis: Misdiagnosis is a significant issue in the realm of medical negligence, and it can have serious consequences for patients.

Misdiagnosis can be seen as medical negligence generally if it is demonstrated that a healthcare professional has deviated from the standard of care and this has resulted in harm or injury to the patient. Based on a recent report from NHS Resolution, the primary driver of medical negligence claims in the UK is misdiagnosis, constituting 39% of all claims.

The Difference Between Misdiagnosis and Missed Diagnosis Misdiagnosis:

  • A misdiagnosis occurs when a healthcare provider provides an incorrect diagnosis for a patient’s condition. This could involve identifying the wrong illness, attributing symptoms to the incorrect cause, or making an inaccurate assessment of a medical condition.

  • Missed Diagnosis: A missed diagnosis, on the other hand, occurs when a healthcare provider fails to identify or recognise a particular medical condition altogether. In this scenario, the healthcare professional may not provide any diagnosis for the symptoms, leading to a lack of appropriate treatment or intervention.

A Guide to Medical Misdiagnosis

Medical misdiagnosis can have significant consequences for individuals affecting their health and well- being. Recognising the indicators of a misdiagnosis is crucial for those affected, it can help people who have experienced a misdiagnosis to seek suitable interventions and address potential issues in their healthcare.

How To Spot A Medical Misdiagnosis

If you feel you are an individual who has been affected by a case of medical misdiagnosis, there are a number of indicators which may help to you to identify potential issues and seek further evaluation or consultation.

  • Incomplete or Inadequate Testing: If your healthcare provider did not conduct comprehensive testing or overlooked certain aspects of your medical history, this could be a sign of medical misdiagnosis.

  • Persistent or Worsening Symptoms: If your symptoms persist or worsen despite undergoing treatment, it may indicate a misdiagnosis. This is especially relevant if the prescribed treatment is not proving the expected relief.

  • Failure to Consider Differential Diagnoses A proper diagnosis typically involves considering multiple possible causes for a patient’s symptoms. If your healthcare provider did not explore various potential diagnoses, it might indicate a rushed or incomplete diagnostic process.

Consequences of a Missed Diagnosis

  • Unnecessary Procedures – A misdiagnosis may lead to unnecessary medical procedures, patients may undergo interventions that do not address their actual health concerns, exposing them to potential risk and side effects.

  • Worsening of Condition – Without an accurate diagnosis a patients condition may worsen. Chronic conditions for example may progress in to more severe stages leading to complications and increased difficulty in managing the condition.

  • Psychological Impact – The emotional toll of dealing with a condition that has progressed due to a delayed diagnosis can lead to anxiety, depression, or other mental health challenges.

We at PA Duffy & Co are committed to ensuring favourable results for our clients. Whether you have experienced misdiagnosis or a delayed diagnosis our medical negligence team are here to provide their expertise and guidance, helping you to obtain the compensation you deserve.

For enquires about a possible medical negligence claim related to a misdiagnosis in Northern Ireland please contact our Medical Negligence team at P.A. Duffy & Co Solicitors based in Dungannon Northern Ireland who are available to address any questions you may have and offer support for your unique circumstances.

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