Floridians who have an ailment may struggle to muster the courage to go to the doctor. Yet, when they take the bold step to get medical help, they hope to be treatable and expect to be properly diagnosed. While many patients are properly diagnosed and receive the treatment they need to remedy their condition or halt or slow its progression, others are unknowingly subjected to a missed diagnosis, a wrong diagnosis, or improper treatment. Far too often, by the time a patient realizes this, it is too late and the damage has been done.
Though readers of this blog may have heard us discuss misdiagnosis relatively frequently, they may not be as familiar with wrong medical treatment and just how damaging it can be. Wrong treatment can take many forms. For example, if an individual is diagnosed with cancer and given chemotherapy, and it is later discovered that the patient never had cancer in the first place, then that improper treatment could have caused significant and avoidable damage.
To make matters worse, wrong treatment allows the underlying medical condition to continue its progress. Thus, as a medical professional is treating condition A, which is non-existent, condition B gets worse. Sometimes, by the time the mistake is caught it is too late to adequately treat the existing condition, which could mean premature death for a patient.
Though thinking about misdiagnosis and wrong medical treatments can be scary, Floridians should realize that there is a lot they can do to protect themselves. When visiting with a doctor, patients should ask questions, disclose their full medical history, and be sure to communicate all symptoms and their severity. If harm is caused to a patient by a misdiagnosis or improper medical treatment, then legal options may exist to help him or her recover compensation for his or her damages.
Source: FindLaw, “Failed/Erroneous Diagnosis and Treatment,” accessed on Mar. 5, 2015