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Baltimore Personal Injury Lawyer / Blog / Medical Malpractice / Is There A Difference Between Missed Diagnosis And Misdiagnosis?

Is There A Difference Between Missed Diagnosis And Misdiagnosis?


In both the legal sense and the practice of medicine, yes, there is a slight difference between missed diagnosis and misdiagnosis. The distinctions deal with timing, accuracy, and diagnostic variables, but it is encouraging to know that they have a limited effect on a patient’s rights. If you were harmed in either scenario, Maryland’s medical malpractice statute applies in the same way for a diagnosis mistake. You must prove that the physician did not act by the standard of care with diagnosis tasks and that you were injured as a direct result of the mistake.

The real issue with diagnostic failures is what healthcare providers do with the information they have before them. The treatment approach is different with a correct diagnosis, as compared to errors in identifying the condition or missing it entirely. The harm to the patient can be extreme, but you may qualify to recover compensation by meeting the requirements of the med mal statute. An Owings Mills medical malpractice attorney will guide you through the claims process, and you can check out a summary that explains your rights.

Comparing Diagnosis Errors: The differences between missed and misdiagnosis are subtle, but an explanation should help clarify.

A missed diagnosis means the health care provider never detected the medical condition after the patient presented with symptoms, a physical exam was conducted, and other basic screenings were assessed. Without any diagnosis, the patient does not receive proper treatment and the medical condition could worsen. For example, if a doctor failed to diagnose cancer, the disease could metastasize and become terminal.

Misdiagnosis occurs when a healthcare provider does detect an ailment, but the physician incorrectly identifies the patient’s medical condition. The treatment plan moves forward based on a wrong diagnosis, and the patient suffers in multiple ways. On the one hand, the person does not receive proper treatment for the actual condition. It could worsen in the same way as with a missed diagnosis.

In addition, the patient is receiving potentially harsh, harmful treatment for a condition he or she does not have. When the misdiagnosis is false-positive cancer, that could mean a person goes through chemo, radiation, and other therapies that have severe side effects.

Damages in Misdiagnosis Cases: With either missed diagnosis or diagnosis errors, medical malpractice laws in Maryland allow patients to recover monetary damages. You could be eligible to obtain amounts for your medical costs to treat the misdiagnosis, such as surgery, hospitalization, medications, and rehabilitation. A patient may also qualify for compensation based on how a diagnostic mistake can affect the quality of life. Additional damages may include:

  • Pain and suffering;
  • Emotional distress;
  • Scarring and disfigurement; and,
  • Many others.

Consult with Our Maryland Misdiagnosis Lawyers for Free

If you were injured because of a diagnosis mistake, it is crucial to retain skilled representation right away. For personalized advice, please call Furman | Honick Law at 410-844-6000 or visit us online. We can set up a no-cost case analysis to discuss details at our offices in Owings Mills or Baltimore, MD.



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