Harmed patients may file a legal action against physicians who delayed a diagnosis of a medical condition. As reported by WebMD, researchers discovered that doctors more commonly delayed or failed to diagnose women in cases involving heart attacks, strokes and autoimmune diseases.
Female patients seeking pain treatment claimed they faced difficulties when requesting medication. Many felt practitioners did not take their symptoms seriously. According to a study noted by WebMD, a significant number of emergency room physicians failed to accurately address the complaints of women with abdominal pain.
Dismissing symptoms that turn out to be a serious condition
Researchers found that women had a greater chance of receiving the wrong diagnosis after experiencing a heart attack. Men hospitalized for heart attacks, however, reportedly had fewer deaths. Women seeking treatment for a stroke reportedly experienced nearly 30% more circumstances of a mistaken diagnosis.
Hospital staff members who discharge a patient with untreated pain may have breached a standard duty of care. As reported by U.S. News and World Report, health care practitioners fail to notice about 36% of imaging findings and nearly 62% of lab results. By overlooking or misinterpreting the results of an X-ray, blood draw or ultrasound, an unknown medical condition may continue to worsen.
Filing a legal action for medical malpractice
When a serious medical episode becomes a life-threatening condition or permanent disability, a doctor who failed to accurately diagnose the condition may incur liability. If a physician neglected his or her duty of care and caused harm, the affected patient has a right to seek a remedy. A jury may award a harmed patient compensation for medical expenses, reconstructive surgery and rehabilitation.