The first step in obtaining quality care – especially for patients who are ill or suffering – is getting the right diagnosis. A proper and timely diagnosis is critical to ensure the best chance at recovery and a positive outcome. A recent study published earlier this week from the Institute of Medicine concluded that most people will experience at least one wrong or delayed diagnosis in their lifetime, and that one in twenty adults who seek outpatient care experiences a diagnostic error.
The failure to respond in a timely manner can be devastating – such as missing cancer and failing to treat it before it spreads.
The report concluded that to reduce the number of errors, better teamwork between health providers is needed, as well as improved communication with patients.
Misdiagnoses can be especially tragic for newborns. For example, a delay in diagnosis - or the failure to diagnose - a serious condition with at or near the time an infant is delivered can result in a birth injury with devastating life long consequences. This may occur in instances where the child is at risk for shoulder dystocia, or where an undiagnosed prenatal condition requires an emergency c-section. The failure to properly address newborn jaundice may lead to a brain injury that lasts a lifetime.
Receiving a proper and timely diagnosis is critical to getting the care you and your loved ones deserve.
If you believe that you suffered harm as the result of a delayed or misdiagnosis, please contact the experienced Los Angeles medical malpractice lawyers for an immediate consultation.