A misdiagnosis can not only be frustrating, it can also cause harm, injury and even death. If you or a loved one find yourself in this situation, you might wonder if misdiagnosis is considered medical malpractice. First, it’s important to define medical malpractice versus misdiagnosis.
Medical Malpractice vs. Misdiagnosis
Medical malpractice is when a health care provider fails to deliver the “standard of care” (what a reasonable health care provider would do given the same or a similar situation) and it results in harm, injury or even death. While a misdiagnosis can be defined simply as an error in diagnosis, such an error does not always mean that harm, injury or death was caused and that medical malpractice has occurred.
According to medical malpractice attorney, James R. Howell of PHP Law Firm in Wichita, Kansas, when a health care provider delivers the “standard of care” adequately and still makes a misdiagnosis, this situation would not be considered medical malpractice.
Classic Example of Misdiagnosis
PHP Law Firm has been helping victims of medical malpractice for decades, so we’ve seen many examples of misdiagnosis. The most common example of misdiagnosis that is not considered medical malpractice is the following scenario:
You or a loved one sought medical care for a certain complaint and the health care provider reviewed your signs, symptoms and medical history. Your signs, symptoms and medical history were not “classic” for your disease or ailment, whether it was a heart attack, pancreatitis, a stroke or something else. Perhaps your signs, symptoms and medical history even indicated another type of illness. Because the “classic” signs and symptoms were not present, you or your loved one were either treated for a different illness or were sent home, and the result was harm, injury or even death as a result of the misdiagnosis.
In the above scenario, a misdiagnosis occurred, but the actions taken were not likely medical malpractice. Why? Because the health care provider delivered the “standard of care” based off your signs, symptoms, and history, but unfortunately, that information was not enough to make a correct diagnosis.
How Our Medical Malpractice Attorneys Can Help
At PHP Law Firm, we understand that determining whether a misdiagnosis involved medical malpractice can be overwhelming— especially as you strive to put your life back together. That’s why we offer free consultations to talk through your situation with a legal professional. Our main goal is making it possible for the patient and/or their loved ones to move forward again, so we do not charge a cent unless we win compensation for you.
If you think a misdiagnosis you or your loved one received could have involved medical malpractice, please contact us directly at (316) 683-9080. We look forward to speaking with you!