Very often when patients worry about something going wrong at the doctor’s office, they worry about something being done to them – wrong site surgery, badly managed anesthesia, a botched procedure, being given the wrong medication, etc.  What patients don’t always think about is what their doctor should be doing, but isn’t.


One very serious form of medical malpractice can be difficult to spot, because it sometimes involves nothing at all.  This type of medical mistake is the failure to diagnose, meaning a medical professional failed to figure out what was really wrong with a patient in time to do something about it.


What kind of conditions can a doctor fail to diagnose?  There are many, but some of the more common things that can be missed include:

  • Cancer, especially breast, colon, cervical or prostate cancer
  • Heart attacks or strokes
  • Serious infections
  • Appendicitis


If a doctor fails to diagnose a serious condition like one of the above, a patient can experience major complications or could die.  Sadly, this happens more often than it should – by some estimates, nearly half of all medical malpractice cases involve a failure to diagnose or a misdiagnosis.


Please read more about this issue in our medical malpractice law library article “What might have been: when doctors fail to diagnose a serious medical condition” and contact Tavss Fletcher if you need help with your medical mistake case.

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