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Medical Malpractice: Misdiagnosis

One of the most common forms of medical malpractice is misdiagnosis. This refers to a diagnosis error that can result into delayed treatment, incorrect treatment, or no treatment. This can worsen the patient’s condition, and in the worst cases, the patient even dies.

Not because there is a misdiagnosis there is already a medical malpractice case. The medical world is very complex, and even professionals make errors. They key to a medical malpractice case is the incompetence and negligence of the medical professional and how this has resulted into bodily harm.

According to an informative article from the website of Clawson & Staubes, LLC: Injury Group, medical malpractice claimants must present the following:

  • Real relationship between the medical professional and patient
  • Duty of care
  • A violation in the duty of care, like incompetence and negligence
  • Injury as a result of the violation

Incompetence and Negligence

In order to determine whether the medical professional has been competent or not, it is important to look at his work process. Look at what he has done and what he has not done to arrive at a misdiagnosis.

In trying to identify the patient’s problem, the medical professional creates a differential diagnosis list, containing possible problems. The entries of this list are crossed out after several tests and observations prove that they are not the problem. New entries can also make the list, depending on tests, observations, and opinions of other medical professionals.

A medical professional may be seen as incompetent when he does not even have the correct diagnosis in his list, and if another reasonable medical professional would have if put in the same situation. Another sign of incompetence is if he does have the correct diagnosis in his list, but he fails to perform the necessary tests and observations to rule out the other entries of the list and identify the correct diagnosis.

Even if the accused is a competent medical professional, he may still be subject to a medical malpractice because of negligence, like the improper use of diagnostic equipment, improper diagnostic procedure, and misreading lab results.

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