Misdiagnoses and their potential for serious injury
Receiving the proper diagnosis is key to understanding, managing and treating any sort of medical condition. This is especially true when a female patient is pregnant, as certain conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure can change how a pregnancy needs to be handled. In some instances, a misdiagnosis could even contribute to birth injuries or other serious injury to a fetus, a newborn or a pregnant woman. However, a new government report shows that most Americans will receive at least one misdiagnosis in their lifetime.
The report was released last month from the Institute of Medicine, with the president of the National Academy of Medicine calling the report's findings a "serious wake-up call." He mentioned that diagnostic mistakes actually contribute significantly to harm done to patients, but it's also an issue that hasn't received enough attention. In addition to opening the door to physical harm done to patients, a misdiagnosis can also cause trauma to a patient and their family, create unnecessary treatment plans that are costly to the patient, and can lead a patient to miss the treatment they actually need.
In some cases of misdiagnosis, a single negligent doctor will be at fault. In other situations, there may be more than one party at fault for either a missed diagnosis or an erroneous one. Diagnosis itself is often a collaborative process, so a victim of misdiagnosis may wish to speak with a Houston medical malpractice attorney regarding who may be at fault for their condition or their child's medical problems.
A misdiagnosis during or after pregnancy can cause a family to accumulate massive medical expenses. By pursuing a medical malpractice suit, however, a birth injury victim can face the future with the tools needed for stability and growth. An experienced birth injury attorney can explain how misdiagnosis may cause unnecessary harm to either mother or baby and can offer legal advice for confronting this difficult situation.