When a misdiagnosis becomes a case of medical malpractice

Going to visit the doctor is a necessary evil for many Pittsburgh residents. Few enjoy stepping onto the scale, having their bodies poked and prodded, and then hearing about all of the things they should be doing to take better care of their physical systems. Often, trips to the doctor result in patients receiving clean bills of health or accurate diagnoses for the symptoms that present themselves and require intervention to resolve. From time to time, though, a patient may be dismissed by a doctor without a necessary diagnosis or with the wrong diagnosis to a serious medical condition.

When a doctor makes a mistake during the diagnostic process, the result may be a misdiagnosis. Misdiagnoses may leave patients with a course of treatment that will not resolve their medical problems or that may delay them from receiving the treatment they need to recover from the problem that is actually afflicting them.

Many doctors use differential diagnostic processes in order to refine the diagnoses that they apply to their patients. A doctor may ask their patients to submit to various tests to reveal evidence of diseases or to disqualify possible diagnoses from consideration in the patient's case. Working through a differential diagnosis may not be medical malpractice if a doctor executes his or her duties in accordance with the standards of the profession. However, if a doctor fails to consider reasonable diagnoses or does not adhere to the duties of the profession, then any diagnostic deficiencies may result in medical malpractice claims.

Getting the right diagnosis is critical to the health and well-being of a patient. It can take time for even the best doctor to find out what ails a person, but responsible doctors will take the necessary steps to ensure that their patients' diagnoses are accurate. Misdiagnoses and medical malpractice cases can happen, and as such, victims of these injuries can often litigate for their losses through civil personal injury-based claims.

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Savinis, Kane, & Gallucci, L.L.C.
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Pittsburgh, PA 15219

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