When you visit the emergency department or your doctor’s office with certain symptoms, you should expect that they will perform the necessary tests and ask the necessary questions to accurately diagnose any medical condition you may have and recommend the proper course of treatment. While this is a normal expectation – after all, doctors charge a lot of money for their services – there are thousands of patients every year that go home with an incorrect diagnosis. While some misdiagnoses can be relatively harmless and can be corrected fairly easily, others can leave patients with serious harm and facing extensive and unnecessary costs.
Cancer can have many symptoms1 that can vary from patient to patient. Because of the different signs and symptoms, doctors should be aware of when they should perform tests to at least rule out cancer as a possibility. In too many situations, a patient will go in with certain symptoms and a doctor will diagnose them with another type of illness without properly testing for cancer.
Cancer can progress quickly, however, and prognosis can become substantially more serious with progression. If a patient was correctly diagnosed in Stage I, they may have easily survived with minimal treatment. However, a misdiagnosis can delay discovery of cancer until Stage III or even Stage IV, at which point they may need chemotherapy and other invasive treatments or may not be treatable at all.
Heart Attack Misdiagnosis
Heart attack symptoms can often be mistaken for indigestion or similar conditions and patients are sent home without the proper cardiac tests. If a patient has heart disease, it may have been controlled by medication or surgery if they had been properly diagnosed. However, if they are sent home with no cardiac treatment, they are at severe risk of suffering another, more serious heart attack. In this way, misdiagnosis can be life-threatening.
Discuss Your Case with a Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today
If you believe you suffered harm due to a misdiagnosis, you should discuss your legal rights with a skilled medical malpractice attorney at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice in Baltimore. We offer free consultations, so please call today at (410) 694-7291.