When we first feel symptoms of illness, we usually head to our local GP for diagnosis and relief.
On occasion, doctors incorrectly diagnose a condition, leading to complications – both physically or mentally.
If you’ve suffered as a result of a misdiagnosis, whether you were seen by your GP, hospital doctor, physiotherapist or other healthcare professionals, you might be entitled to seek compensation by making a misdiagnosis compensation claim.
To speak more about what you may be entitled to make a risk free claim, call Lawyers Direct Injury Specialists on 1800 106 107 today.
What is a Misdiagnosis?
If your doctor didn’t detect an illness or got it wrong, you may have been a victim of a misdiagnosis. This can prolong your condition or even make it worse.
A misdiagnosis occurs when:
- Your doctor failed to diagnose your condition, leading to a deterioration in your physical or mental health
- Your doctor gave you incorrect or unsuitable medication or treatment based on their incorrect diagnosis, and you have suffered as a result – this may also extend to prescribing medication that causes allergies
- There is a critical time gap between misdiagnosis and correct diagnosis, and your condition became worse as a result of the delay.
Some examples of this are listed below:
Examples of Delayed Diagnosis
Failing to diagnose an injury or illness at first glance can often make it worse. Here are some conditions that can lead to serious complications if they aren’t diagnosed quickly.
Cauda Equina Syndrome
This condition requires urgent medical attention to stop a slipped disc in your back pressing on critical nerves. Symptoms include a loss of sensation in the genital area, incontinence, and urinary retention. If you were later diagnosed with this condition but not immediately, you may have grounds for a claim.
Bacterial meningitis is a life-threatening condition and considered a medical emergency. Symptoms can include a combination of fever, rash, vomiting, neck pain, drowsiness, and convulsions. If a medical professional did not conclude you or your child had meningitis, this is grounds for a claim.
Appendicitis is a rapid inflammation of the appendix and requires immediate removal. If your appendix bursts (ruptures), it can result in infection or the development of abscesses or blood poisoning. All of these are lethal. If you showed pain in your lower right abdomen, along with other symptoms such as a high temperature, vomiting and diarrhoea, but your doctor or Emergency Department did not act, you may be entitled to compensation.
A subarachnoid haemorrhage is also known as bleeding in the brain. Typical symptoms include a stiff neck, vomiting, sensitivity to light (photophobia) and vision problems. Often, a doctor may diagnose this as a migraine or a severe headache. When a patient presents with all of these symptoms, it should tell your doctor that should alert a medical professional to the fact that a subarachnoid haemorrhage needs to have a definitive diagnosis.
An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilised egg implants itself outside of the womb and inside one of the fallopian tubes. As the embryo grows, the tube stretches and if left untreated, causes a tube rupture or split. Stretching causes intense pain and bleeding. Many women claim for pain and suffering caused by undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy, rather than for damage to the fallopian tube itself. If you suffered due to a delayed diagnosis of your ectopic pregnancy, you might have a claim for misdiagnosis.
Delayed Cancer Diagnosis
Every day counts in a cancer diagnosis, and a misdiagnosis or non-diagnosis could have decreased your likelihood of recovery. A timely diagnosis, followed by early intervention may have beaten your cancer and increased your chance of going into remission. Delays in cancer diagnosis may be due to:
- Failure to request tests or examinations
- Misinterpreted or misread scans and X-rays
- Misread blood or tissue samples
Some symptoms are typical of cancer, such as:
- An inability to swallow (dysphagia) should result in an urgent referral to rule out oesophageal cancer
- Blood in the urine should be referred so as to rule out bladder and kidney (renal) cancer
- Rectal bleeding should, in certain circumstances, result in an immediate referral to rule out bowel cancer
- Headaches with other visual symptoms should lead to a consideration of a brain pathology (tumours or cancers)
- Breast lumps require appropriate analysis and investigation (mammograms)
Unfortunately, cancer misdiagnoses can happen even if your doctor has followed up and referred you to appropriate specialists. In some cases, tissue samples can be lost due to clerical errors and other unfortunate mishandling.
If you believe your cancer was misdiagnosed, or could have been diagnosed quicker, call us on 1800 106 107 to discuss your eligibility for a compensation claim.
Not Sure if You Have a Claim?
If you’re not sure if you are entitled to a misdiagnosis claim, contact Lawyers Direct Injury Specialists on our toll-free line on 1800 106 107 – or we can call you back by filling out our online form. Our specialists are trained in determining your medical negligence claim and can figure out if you may lodge a ‘no win, no fee’ claim.