What is erroneous diagnosis and treatment?

On Behalf of | Aug 22, 2015 | Medical Malpractice

In South Carolina hospitals, doctors and other medical staff are highly trained professionals who have years of training in diagnosing and treating patients. Yet mistakes happen, and patients offer suffer due to it. When a worsened medical condition results from a doctor’s negligence, it is considered medical malpractice. Erroneous diagnosis and treatment fall into this category.

Erroneous diagnosis typically falls into two categories: failure to diagnose and misdiagnosis. These two terms are relatively self-explanatory, but there are some caveats to consider. Failure to diagnose can mean not identifying the problem at all, or diagnosing it after damage has happened that would not have occurred if a diagnosis had been reached in a timely manner. 

A misdiagnosis is, as its name implies, a situation in which the doctor identifies the problem incorrectly. Not diagnosing the symptoms correctly does not automatically lead to medical malpractice. A list of possible “differing” diagnoses is made, in order of most to least likely. If other doctors would have given vastly different diagnoses based on the symptoms, you may have a course for legal action.

In the same light, bad treatment could be classified as erroneous treatment or failure to treat. Erroneous treatment means the patient actually got worse after treatment, and would not have suffered so much if they weren’t treated at all. Failure to treat falls under the same guidelines as failure to diagnose.

This is a very truncated look at these issues. If you believe you or a loved one has suffered due to a doctor’s negligence, it may be beneficial to discuss the situation with a medical malpractice attorney, who may be able to provide further counsel. 


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