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Misdiagnosis and Failure to Diagnose

New York Misdiagnosis Attorneys

We don’t expect our doctor to misdiagnose us, or completely fail to diagnose a medical condition. A misdiagnosis can lead to further harm and injury, and can even be fatal. We count on our doctors and health care providers to not only be paying attention when we describe symptoms or physical problems we are experiencing, but to actively listen when we describe ailments, to ask questions in order to help diagnose what the issue might be, and then investigate those symptoms thoroughly with correct testing and competent analysis of test results. We hire our doctor to provide the service of managing our health and preventing problems. At a minimum, we expect a doctor to not misdiagnose us with the wrong illness, delay diagnosing an illness – or completely fail to diagnose an illness.

But sometimes doctors aren’t paying as much attention as they should; perhaps they are tired and overscheduled. Sometimes they don’t take symptoms seriously, or assume that a symptom is caused by one thing and don’t stop to investigate if it could possibly be indicating something far more serious. And sometimes diagnosticians completely misread x-rays and other tests meant to diagnose an illness. When these things happen, the consequences can be devastating – even deadly – for a patient.

If you think you or a loved one has suffered a worsening illness or injury due to a doctor’s failure to diagnose a medical condition or disease, please call the experienced misdiagnosis and medical malpractice attorneys at The Law Offices of David J. Hernandez & Associates right away for a free consultation and case review at 718-509-6816 or contact us online.

Frequency of Misdiagnosis

The New York City metropolitan area is home to some of the finest medical institutions in the country, making the high incidence of medical malpractice which occurs around New York City and New Jersey that much more surprising. But the National Academy of Medicine published in 2015 that most people in the U.S. will be misdiagnosed or receive a late diagnosis at least once in their lives. The report cited one estimate that 1 in 20 people who seek outpatient medical care are misdiagnosed each year in the U.S.

Misdiagnosis and Missed Diagnosis, or Failure to Diagnose

A misdiagnosis is when your doctor tells you that you have an illness or medical condition, but it is incorrect. For example, a doctor might diagnose someone as having the flu, when the patient actually has Lyme disease.
A missed diagnosis is the lack of a diagnosis, usually leading to no treatment or inaccurate treatment. For example, a woman being told that a small lump in her breast is benign, only to find out later that it is actually malignant.
In some cases with minor ailments, it makes no difference that a diagnosis was missed or wrong, because the medical problem will heal on its own. But in other cases, the delay or complete lack of treatment can cause serious injury, disability or even death.

Commonly Misdiagnosed Medical Conditions

  • Cancer: According to the Journal of Clinical Oncology, cancer misdiagnosis occurs as often as 28 percent of the time, and up to 44 percent for some types of cancer.
  • Heart Attack: Different people experience different symptoms with a heart attack. A 2014 study maintains that the incidence of misdiagnosis of heart attacks in female patients is much higher because women don’t experience the classic system of chest pain with a heart attack.
  • Stroke: Researchers analyzing federal health care data at Johns Hopkins found that doctors overlook the early signs of stroke in tens of thousands of Americans each year. The report also found that the incidence of women, minorities and people under 45 being misdiagnosed was much higher.
  • Celiac Disease: It is estimated that approximately 80 percent of people with celiac disease are either undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.
  • Lyme Disease: On average, people struggle with Lyme disease for over a year before they are diagnosed.
  • Aortic Dissection: A 2009 study found that nearly a third of patients with an aortic dissection were misdiagnosed. Early diagnosis is critical: if aortic dissection is left untreated, there is a 68% mortality rate in 48 hours.
  • Pulmonary Embolism: A 2013 study found that over 33 percent of patients with pulmonary embolism were sent home or admitted to the hospital with a wrong diagnosis.

Misdiagnosis Medical Malpractice Attorneys Serving Brooklyn, The Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island and New Jersey

When a doctor misdiagnoses an illness, or fails to diagnose a medical condition, the results can be devastating for the patient. If you or a loved one has been further injured by a worsening medical condition due to a missed diagnosis or a misdiagnosis, the experienced medical malpractice lawyers at The Law Offices of David J. Hernandez & Associates will zealously fight for the compensation you deserve. We handle misdiagnosis and medical malpractice cases on a contingency basis, which means that you pay no attorney fees unless we collect compensation for you. Please contact one of our experienced medical malpractice attorneys for a free consultation and review of your case at 718-509-6816 or contact us online today.

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