People often worry about what will happen if a doctor misses a diagnosis entirely, but there’s a related problem that can be just as serious. Often, the doctor will eventually get a diagnosis right after an initial mistake, but you’ll get a delayed diagnosis.
The problem here is that your condition can get worse before you actually know what’s going on. If the doctor was negligent and missed the diagnosis that they should have made originally, this can lead to serious complications that are not your fault.
One example of how a delayed diagnosis can be serious: Cancer
For instance, perhaps you’re diagnosed with cancer. For most types of cancer, in the earliest stages, treatment is easiest. The cancer may only be located in one part of the body and surgery may be possible. Chemotherapy may also be an option that can be used. But the tumor will be small and located in just one area, giving you a good chance of recovery.
But what if your doctor delays that diagnosis for a year? The cancer itself could spread from the original tumor to other nearby organs. This could make surgery impossible and it could make it harder for chemotherapy to work. Essentially, a very curable disease could become fatal, all because the doctor didn’t make the proper diagnosis when they should have. They delayed everything else, from your investigation of treatment options to your recovery timetable.
It’s frustrating if something like this has happened to you, and it can be very costly to both you and your family. Make sure you know about all of the legal options at your disposal. You deserve proper medical care, and there are often steps that you can take if that’s not what you received.