Hensley Cloninger & Greer, P.C. Hensley Cloninger & Greer, P.C.

Misdiagnosis vs. Missed Diagnosis

female doctor talking to a woman sitting on a medical bed holding a clipboard and pen

Medical errors can be incredibly dangerous and lead to life-altering illnesses and injuries. While some of the errors are more overt like surgical mishaps, other circumstances can be just as impactful.

A misdiagnosis or a missed diagnosis may make a difference in a patient receiving the proper care in a timely manner. While these two terms are often considered interchangeable, they actually constitute different things and can affect patients in various ways.

What is Misdiagnosis?

Misdiagnosis is when a healthcare professional incorrectly identifies and diagnoses the patient’s condition. This means that the provider has mistakenly attributed one condition (or disease) to the patient instead of another.

A misdiagnosis can be dangerous as patients may undergo unnecessary treatments that worsen their condition, which can cause more long-term complications and create delays in their care plan.

What is a Missed Diagnosis?

A missed diagnosis is when a healthcare professional fails to recognize the signs and symptoms of the patient’s condition. While there are numerous reasons why this may occur, some common factors revolve around failing to run tests, running the wrong tests, or not taking a patient's concerns seriously. For example, some health problems may be incorrectly attributed to a patient's body weight or fitness level when, in fact, the root of these issues results from an undiagnosed chronic condition or disease.

In some cases, a missed diagnosis can be even more dangerous than a misdiagnosis, as it can lead to a serious health issue that could have been avoided had the condition been recognized sooner.

The Importance of Proper Diagnosis

The consequences of misdiagnosis and missed diagnosis can be devastating for patients, leading to more severe conditions, longer recovery times, and even death in some cases. It is important for healthcare professionals to take the time to properly evaluate and diagnose each patient to ensure they are receiving the best possible care. With a thorough evaluation and accurate diagnosis, patients can begin their treatment plan as soon as possible and decrease the chance of further complications.

Taking Legal Action for Misdiagnosis and Missed Diagnosis

Should a misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis cause you to have worsened symptoms that lead to your injury, you may have grounds to pursue a medical malpractice claim. In such instances, you should consult a professional medical malpractice attorney to discuss your legal options.

A firm experienced in these cases will be able to provide more information on how to build an effective claim and get you the compensation that you deserve for any damages caused by medical negligence. Hensley Cloninger & Greer, P.C. has been serving North Carolina for decades and can help you understand the legal options available. Call (828) 383-8414 to request a case evaluation today.

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