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How and When Does Delayed Diagnosis Amount to Medical Malpractice?

In general, an act of medical malpractice is the one in which a medical representative or a medical facility does something (or doesn’t) that a reasonable medical representative or facility would not do (or do) in the same situation. In other words, any form of harm caused to a patient that could have been prevented following the prescribed standards of healthcare may make the patient eligible to initiate a medical malpractice lawsuit. So, how does an instance of delayed diagnosis fits in?

Though there has been a rise in delayed medical diagnosis lawsuits across Miami, most of the people have a vague idea about this category of medical malpractice. The following discussion highlights some of its basic aspects for a clear understanding.

When Is It Not a Medical Malpractice?

Before knowing when delayed diagnosis constitutes medical malpractice, find out when it does not. Here are some examples when a patient:

  • Delays seeking medical opinion and is diagnosed with a serious condition
  • Fails to disclose all the symptoms he or she experiences
  • Hides information regarding past treatments and so on

In each of these situations, a doctor can’t be held responsible for delayed diagnoses and hence, medical malpractice. It is important to seek a legal opinion from Miami medical malpractice attorneys to recognize whether the instance forms the basis for a lawsuit or not.

When Is It Misdiagnosis and Not the Delayed One?

Many people consider both as the same. In reality, misdiagnosis may refer to an instance when a doctor or a medical facility diagnoses incorrect heath conditions. In other words, a patient is diagnosed with a certain medical condition, whereas he or she actually suffers from some other. A patient who suffers losses due to the wrong diagnosis can still file a lawsuit, though the category of medical malpractice would be different.

When Is It a Case of Delayed Diagnosis?

In simple words, a delayed diagnosis occurs when a doctor or a medical facility takes a preventable amount of time to diagnose certain health conditions in a patient. Resultantly, the patient might suffer from losses of physical, mental, emotional or monetary form. You can better understand it through the following examples:

  • A doctor ignores certain vital symptoms that the patient mentions. It may lead to delayed recognition of the actual illness or condition.
  • A doctor observes some symptoms but fails to conduct consequent tests to reach the right conclusions.
  • A laboratory conducts wrong tests, uses faulty equipment or loses/incorrectly records the test results.
  • A doctor delays attending a patient or does so in a rush due to overcrowded facilities or lack of assistance.
  • A patient is not referred to a medical specialist, though his or her symptoms/test results clearly indicate one such need.

In addition, you must know the consequences due to the above-mentioned instances that can form the basis of a lawsuit.

These include:

  • Spread of the disease (like cancer) due to a delay in its recognition
  • Medical bills growing due to delay in treatment
  • Physical pain or mental trauma or both
  • Loss of job/income/ability to work
  • Death

How a delayed diagnosis can be proved? A medical malpractice attorney can assist you in this direction.

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