Misdiagnosis is an important factor in many medical negligence compensation claims. Dentists can fail to accurately diagnose a patient’s oral health problems, or doctors can misdiagnose a condition. People can undergo unnecessary medical treatments due to misdiagnosis, including surgery. Patient outcomes are significantly worse in cases of misdiagnosis – vital treatment options can be missed and illnesses can progress to cause serious health problems or even death.
If you have suffered a personal injury due to misdiagnosis, you can make a clinical negligence claim. Speak to our medical negligence solicitors to discuss your problems and to give you the best possible chance of succeeding in your claim.
Causes of misdiagnosis clinical negligence claims
Several factors are frequently to blame following misdiagnosis in clinical negligence claims. Some of these include the following:
Fragmentation in the healthcare system
The healthcare system in the UK can be very fragmented. There are numerous opportunities for doctors to misread tests or to delay treatment, or to ask for the wrong tests when patients have unusual conditions. This can lead to delays to diagnosis and misdiagnosis.
Overworked, fatigued medical staff
Research has shown that medical staff are frequently very tired and fatigued, which can have the same effect on cognitive skills as drunkenness. When people are exhausted, they are prone to making mistakes, and can leave themselves vulnerable to committing medical negligence. Furthermore, these professionals are pressed for time and have to see huge numbers of patients in a short period of time. This makes them more prone to making mistakes, as they cannot look into a patient’s problems as closely as they would like.
Overconfidence isn’t just a problem in clinical negligence claims – all professionals can occasionally make serious mistakes due to overconfidence. If a doctor assumes a patient has a certain condition and sends them down the relevant treatment path, it can be very hard for them to admit that they may have made a mistake.
Common misdiagnosis errors seen in medical negligence compensation claims
Research published in JAMA Internal Medicine aimed to find out which illnesses were most commonly misdiagnosed. Scientists looked into misdiagnosis rates in a US Veterans Affairs facility and a private healthcare system. They found that many common misdiagnosis errors involve potentially fatal diseases, and that these mistakes could seriously worsen patient outcomes.
Pneumonia was the most commonly misdiagnosed condition, representing 6.7% of all misdiagnoses. The illness presents itself with a cough, fever, chest pain and breathing difficulties, and is a leading cause of death among vulnerable groups such as young children, elderly people and those with chronic illnesses.
Decompensated congestive heart failure
A total of 5.7% of all misdiagnoses related to decompensated congestive heart failure. This condition involves shortness of breath, oedema and fatigue, and is seen in people with heart disease. It can lead to acute respiratory distress, which can cause multiple organ failure. While the condition is treatable, untreated sufferers have a 90% mortality rate.
Acute renal failure
Acute renal failure, also known as acute kidney injury, represented 5.3% of all misdiagnoses in the study. This illness involves rapid loss of kidney function, which can affect other organ systems and cause serious health problems.
Primary cancer also represented 5.3% of all misdiagnoses in the study. Cancers are generally named after the area of the body that they first affected, and this is known as the primary cancer or primary site. When cancers metastasise and affect other body parts, this is called secondary cancer. Primary cancers are considerably more treatable than secondary cancers, and the treatment options available are far less invasive.
Using solicitors for a misdiagnosis clinical negligence claim
Proving a misdiagnosis medical negligence claim can be difficult. Not only do claimants have to demonstrate that they sustained personal injuries as a direct result of the misdiagnosis, but they also have to demonstrate that a competent professional would not have misdiagnosed the condition.
If you have suffered a personal injury due to misdiagnosis, medical negligence solicitors can help you prove this was caused by medical negligence and make a compensation claim. Using solicitors also helps you maximise the size of your claim – medical insurers will offer a smaller sum of money than you deserve, but solicitors can help you calculate the size of your losses and succeed in your compensation claim.
-Claimant wins £255,000.00 due to a Misdiagnosis. read more>>
Disclaimer - The information in the case study is not legal advice and should not be construed as such. The case study is for information purposes only, to help illustrate to our potential clients the type of claims Clearwater Solicitors can help them with. Clearwater Solicitors has not represented client(s) in the case study unless stated otherwise.