The Deadly Effects of a Medical Misdiagnosis

The Deadly Effects of a Medical Misdiagnosis

Medical misdiagnosis is a common issue that comes up in the world of medical malpractice. It’s one of the most common sources of medical malpractice claims, and it can cause significant trauma and delays in care for affected patients.

Has medical malpractice left you permanently injured? Let the team at Kingbird Legal help. Call us at 484-289-4880 to set up a consultation right away.

How a Delay in Diagnosis Can Affect Treatment and Disease Progression

First, a misdiagnosis doesn’t just mean that a patient gets treated for the wrong disease. It also means a significant delay in getting the correct diagnosis. Securing an accurate diagnosis is key to getting on the right treatment plan and the road to recovery. While a patient is receiving unrelated care for a diagnosis that isn’t even correct, their actual disease is progressing unchecked. 

This is especially dangerous for cardiovascular disease, cancer, and infections. With cardiovascular disease, getting patients on the proper prescriptions can manage symptoms and prevent a heart attack. Timely diagnosis of cancer allows a cancer to begin treatment immediately and hopefully halt the growth of their tumors. Catching an infection as early as possible makes it far easier to treat it successfully with antibiotics. If doctors can’t do this, their patient is at a major disadvantage.

A Lost Opportunity for Early Intervention

As a result, misdiagnosis forces patients to lose an opportunity for early intervention. When you treat an illness, doctors generally want to use the lowest dose and the least invasive treatment possible to avoid side effects and other disruptions to a patient’s life. This simply isn’t possible when a disease has progressed aggressively due to a doctor’s misdiagnosis. A cancer misdiagnosis means that what may have been treated with one round of chemotherapy now requires multiple chemo rounds and radiation therapy, resulting in ongoing illness and fatigue for the patient. A late infection diagnosis could allow an infection to spread throughout the body and become systemic, putting the patient at risk of sepsis and death.

Issues With Incorrect Medications and Reactions

Not getting necessary care on time could be fatal for a patient. In many cases, getting improper treatment can also have negative health consequences. In an ideal situation, the treatment they receive doesn’t help them but also doesn’t harm them. It’s essentially a neutral outcome. Those who aren’t quite so lucky could end up undergoing painful treatments that devastate their health. 

Patients may experience adverse drug reactions, be pushed out of the workforce, or experience a significantly diminished quality of life because of unneeded treatments. To use the cancer example again, consider a patient who is incorrectly diagnosed with lymphoma. They immediately begin treatment instead of seeking a second opinion because of their doctor’s sense of urgency. 

They begin chemotherapy, which leaves them drained, fatigued, and unable to work. On top of that, their immune system is destroyed. A second opinion reveals that they actually have a different disease that mimics lymphoma. The patient has now suffered the negative side effects of chemotherapy without any of the benefits.

Emotional Trauma for Patients

Going through misdiagnosis can be traumatizing for patients. They turn to doctors as a source of knowledge and wisdom, and they should be able to trust them. When a trusted care provider makes a grave error, the patient has to grapple with their loss of trust in the medical system, the time they’ve lost to inaccurate treatment, and the fact that their actual illness may now be worse because of the delay. Sadly, those who go through a misdiagnosis may be less likely to seek medical care in the future due to their distrust of the establishment. This may put them in a position where they do not begin receiving care until it is too late.

Have You Been Affected by Medical Malpractice? Call Kingbird Legal Now

If you’ve been affected by a misdiagnosis, we understand your pain and we’re here to help. Our team of personal injury attorneys is ready to hold the negligent party accountable and demand the compensation you deserve. To discuss your case in greater detail and find out if you have a claim, set up a consultation now. Call us at 484-289-4880 or reach out online to schedule a consultation at our Pennsylvania or Washington DC office.

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