Medical professionals are trusted members of the Philadelphia community. We rely on them when we have health problems or medical conditions. When they fail to perform their duties according to expectations and professional standards, it can be devastating. When their duty to a patient is breached, medical professionals may be liable for damages. 

Failure to diagnose, in some circumstances, is one way medical professionals and medical institutions neglect their professional obligations. It can cause a delay or failure to receive much needed medical treatment. Claims based on failure to diagnose, however, are complex. It will require a lot of expert analysis and the insight from an experienced medical malpractice attorney in Philadelphia. Call D’Intino Law Firm, LLC to schedule a free consultation today.

Can you sue when a doctor fails to diagnose in Pennsylvania?

If a doctor fails to diagnose or, alternatively, if there’s a serious delay in diagnosing, you may have a claim for medical malpractice against the doctor and/or other parties involved. When a medical professional or entity owes you a duty to diagnose and treat you, that duty may be breached in certain situations or under certain circumstances. This breach is often referred to as medical negligence. In very rare situations, the breach was intentional, which may mean a criminal act was involved. 

It is, however, important to understand that not every mistake or bad medical outcome is the result of medical negligence. Medical malpractice requires a failure to meet the medical standard of care rather than simply showing an incorrect diagnosis. Those standards set a high bar for medical negligence. 

What are common conditions that doctors fail to diagnose in Pennsylvania?

Some common conditions doctors fail to diagnose or wrongly diagnose include: 

  • Asthma, which is the most common type of undiagnosed illness, especially in children
  • Cancer, which any delay or failure to diagnose can be significantly harmful due to metastasizing
  • Heart attacks, which are often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed as heartburn or another illness
  • Strokes, which carry symptoms that vary and are commonly overlooked as symptoms of another medical condition

Why do Pennsylvania medical professionals fail to diagnose?

In some cases, a doctor might fail to order relevant diagnostic tests, such as blood tests, x-rays, or MRIs, or order improper tests, which might contribute to a failed diagnosis.

Additionally, doctors could be relying on inaccurate results from diagnostic tests due to faulty equipment or human error. Another common cause of failures to diagnose occurs when a medical professional ignores a patient’s own description of the ailment or dismisses some or all of the relevant symptoms. 

What do you do if you have been misdiagnosed in Philadelphia?

No one knows your body better than you do, so it is important to trust your instincts when it comes to your health. If your doctor provides a diagnosis and treatment plan, but your condition does not improve or it gets worse, you might have been misdiagnosed.

You should discuss your diagnosss with your doctor. You  might also consider seeking a second opinion from a different health care professional. It is important to act quickly because of the potential for additional harm, including delayed treatment for a severe illness. 

How do you prove a Pennsylvania failure to diagnose?

Medical malpractice cases, such as misdiagnosis and failure to diagnose, require several elements established by law. The first requirement is the existence of a doctor-patient relationship with the doctor.

Next, it must be established that the doctor breached the applicable medical standard of care. Establishing a breach typically requires testimony from a medical expert to discuss what should have been done in the situation to provide a proper diagnosis. Finally, a successful case must prove that the doctor’s negligent failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis caused the patient’s harm.

The personal injury attorneys at D’Intino Law Firm, LLC have helped others file a failure to diagnose claim, and they can help you as well. By calling 267-491-9111, you can learn how to proceed if you think you have been a victim of a failed diagnosis.