Jump to Navigation

Diagnostic Judgment Errors

In Diagnosis, Doctors Should Prepare for the Worst

When a patient complains to a doctor about a certain set of symptoms, the doctor usually knows that the symptoms could be caused by a number of possible disorders. The doctor should identify the patient's disorder by testing for each possibility, one by one, starting with the worst. This process is called a "differential diagnosis."

If a doctor fails to run the proper diagnostic studies according to the standards of the profession, or if the doctor fails to properly interpret the test results, the patient's disease will go undiagnosed and therefore will not be treated. It is not difficult to imagine how this can lead to unnecessary illness, disability, disfigurement or death.

Doctors who negligently misdiagnose or fail to diagnose deadly disease are a danger to everyone in society. Watson & Carroll PC LLO in Omaha, Nebraska, helps the victims of medical malpractice recover compensation for their losses and hold doctors accountable for negligence. If you or a family member suffered harm, call us today at 402-991-2100 or contact our office online.

Failure to Diagnose

To diagnose an illness, a doctor has to consider all of the possible causes for a particular set of symptoms. If a man complains of shortness of breath, sweatiness, and pain in his right shoulder, the doctor knows it is probably indigestion — but it could be a heart attack, and so the doctor must test for that possibility.

When a doctor fails to diagnose a disease, it is usually because he or she has failed to consider all the possibilities. Diagnostic failures come in many forms, including:

  • Failure to order and perform the proper diagnostic study.
  • Failure to consider factors that could cause inconsistencies, false positives and false negatives.
  • Failure to obtain and consider the patient's medical history.
  • Failure to consider the diagnosis suggested by the findings.
  • Failure to properly interpret test results.
  • Failure to consider alternative diagnoses because they are expensive, time-consuming, or would increase the patient's physical dependency.

Some diseases will only cause temporary discomfort if they are left undiagnosed. But many diseases may be deadly, such as cancer, heart attacks, strokes, internal injuries, concussions and more. Failure to diagnose any of those diseases would likely result in the death of the patient.

Once the doctor has diagnosed the patient, the next step is to recommend the proper therapeutic treatment for the disease.

Experienced, Dedicated Service

Watson & Carroll PC LLO has represented personal injury plaintiffs for almost three decades. They are experienced and skilled, and can successfully handle complex personal injury litigation and trials when medicine and the law intersect. Our law office provides personal, focused and dedicated legal service.

If you or a loved one suffered injuries because of medical negligence or medical malpractice, we can provide skilled representation. Call 402-991-2100 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation.

Serving the Community Since 1951

402-991-2100 No fees unless we win