What is medical misdiagnosis?
Medical misdiagnosis occurs when a health care practitioner either fails to diagnose or erroneously diagnoses an illness or condition. For example, if a woman undergoes a mammogram and is given an all-clear result, but it is later discovered that she has a malignant breast tumour which could reasonably have been identified through the mammogram, the radiographer has misdiagnosed the woman’s condition.
Medical misdiagnosis can lead to erroneous or inappropriate treatment, delayed treatment or no treatment at all being provided to the patient which can lead to further injury or damage.
Do I have a medical negligence claim?
Misdiagnosis does not always amount to medical negligence. To do so, it must be shown that:
- In making the misdiagnosis, the medical practitioner did not exercise the reasonable skill, care or expertise to be expected of a medical practitioner of his or her position. Even if this is the case, it must also be shown that
- The misdiagnosis caused more harm or injury than if the misdiagnosis had not been made. Sometimes, a misdiagnosis and the resulting treatment, or lack of treatment, does not materially change the medical outcome for a patient. In such a case, compensation would not be payable.
Medical negligence is a particularly complex area of law and any potential claim must be investigated thoroughly.
If you have been injured or suffered damage as a result of a misdiagnosis and you think that you have a medical negligence claim, submit an online enquiry or call us.