A Wrong Diagnosis Can Lead to Catastrophe
When symptoms of an illness appear, a doctor or hospital has a duty to properly evaluate and test the patient's condition until the correct diagnosis is reached. Only a proper diagnosis leads to the right treatment. A misdiagnosis, on the other hand, may lead to improper treatment or delay, causing the condition to worsen or injury to result. A wrong diagnosis of cancer, heart disease, infections and other medical illness can turn a treatable condition into a medical catastrophe.
A Failure to Diagnose Cancer Can Delay Treatment
Early diagnosis of cancer often leads to effective treatment with a better outcome. A delay in diagnosis can result in more invasive treatment (a mastectomy, for example, for breast cancer, rather than a much-less-invasive lumpectomy). When cancer is missed or misdiagnosed, the patient may lose the chance for effective life-saving treatment
A Misdiagnosis of Heart Problems Delays Effective Treatment
Heart problems cause a variety of different symptoms, such as headaches, dizziness, pain in the shoulder or arm, or temporary vision problems. Many people don't know that these symptoms may be the sign of an impending heart attack. When an older patient visits an emergency room with chest or epigastric pain he or she should receive a cardiac evaluation before being sent home. Failure to properly diagnose a dangerous heart condition can result in a delay of treatment, a worsening of the untreated condition, permanent injury to heart function, or death.
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