Case Studies

Medical misdiagnosis – When should you seek a second opinion?

Medical Misdiagnosis

Doctors and medical providers are highly trained and work hard to provide health services for their community. However, like any profession, mistakes can happen and it is important to know how to identify an instance of medical negligence, what to do and when you might need to seek legal help.

What is medical misdiagnosis?

Medical misdiagnosis occurs when a health practitioner’s diagnosis of a patient is wrong, mistaken or delayed. For example, a general practitioner failing to identify the early signs and symptoms of a stroke or a perhaps diabetes.

Sometimes, these errors can result in the patient receiving incorrect treatment, delayed treatment, or no treatment at all. This can have serious ramifications for the patient, their condition can be made much worse, sometimes resulting in permanent injury and in extreme cases, death.

Common types of medical mistakes include:

1) Not listening or failing to hear. Patients who present to their medical provider with legitimate and genuine symptoms only to be sent away with a wrong diagnosis or told that there is nothing wrong with them.

2) Not seeing. Failure by medical providers to see or identify an issue.

3) Being careless. For example when prescribing medication or anesthesia doses, also malfunctions of the equipment designed to administer medication.

4) Being negligent. Negligence can manifest itself in numerous ways from a surgeon operating on the wrong limb, a nurse dosing the wrong patient, an anaesthesiologist not obtaining a sufficient history of the patient.

What should you do if you believe you have experienced medical misdiagnosis?

  • See another medical provider for a second opinion
  • Contact the Medical review board
  • Contact an experienced lawyer for advice

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