When you put your trust in your medical team, you assume that you'll receive nothing but the best treatment and advice. Unfortunately, this doesn't always happen, as medical malpractice is always a concern.
Here are some common conditions that are often misdiagnosed:
- Cancer: A misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of cancer can be fatal, as this gives the disease the opportunity to spread to other parts of your body. Medical malpractice can relate to all forms of the disease, but misdiagnosis is most common with colorectal, lung and breast cancer.
- Heart attack: This serious health condition shares symptoms with indigestion, flu and even the common cold. If a doctor fails to diagnose a heart attack in a timely manner, it can result in a fatality or irreparable damage to your heart.
- Stroke: A stroke can bring on symptoms in a hurry, including but not limited to weakness, confusion, inability to speak and poor coordination. However, some people experience a slower onset of symptoms, making it more difficult for their doctor to diagnose. It's not uncommon for a doctor to misdiagnose a stroke for something less serious, such as a migraine headache.
How can you protect yourself?
It's scary to think that your doctor could make such a serious mistake. There's no surefire way to protect against medical malpractice, but there are some basic tips you can follow:
- Always ask questions: You have the right to ask questions, no matter how silly they may be. You should never feel like you have to keep quiet. If you do, it's best to find a doctor that makes you more comfortable.
- Tell the truth: Your doctor will have an easier time diagnosing your condition when they know the truth in regard to medication you're taking, symptoms you're experiencing and other key details regarding your health.
- Get a second opinion: There's nothing wrong with seeking a second opinion. It will take some time out of your schedule to do so, but it's better to be safe than sorry.
If you were the victim of any form of medical malpractice, turn your immediate attention to stabilizing your health. Once you're comfortable doing so, learn more about your legal rights and how to hold the negligent doctor responsible for their error.