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Failure to diagnose relates to when a medical professional fails to correctly diagnose the patient’s condition.
The medical professional can be a General Practitioner or a Hospital doctor or nurse. Failing to diagnose a patient’s medical condition is one of the most common types of medical negligence actions.
Failing to diagnose will result in a delay for the patient in terms of the diagnosis being made and then a delay in the treatment starting; and sometimes the failure to diagnose the correct condition can mean that incorrect treatment is given or no treatment at all.
A failure to diagnose a condition can in some circumstances be very serious and life-threatening. It can occur where there is a delay in diagnosing cancer. It can also happen in other circumstances for example:-
• Cauda Equine Syndrome
• Missed fractures
• Pressure sores
• Testicular torsions
The above are examples and there are many more. Sometimes failing to make a diagnosis can mean that the patient suffers further damage and the illness can become more advanced and more serious.
Cancer: Early diagnosis of any form of cancer is vital to ensure that you have the best opportunity for effective treatment.
Where initial signs are reported but an early diagnosis is missed, if it can be shown that the delay in making the diagnosis has affected your treatment or outcome then you may be able to pursue a claim for negligence and claim compensation.
The type of claim that we are often asked to consider is where a patient has made a number of visits to their GP but have failed to be referred for suitable tests or to a consultant and in those circumstances there may well be a claim against the GP.
We have also dealt with claims against Hospital Trusts where having been referred by the GP in the appropriate manner, the Hospital have then failed to carry out appropriate tests or a scan which has resulted in the cancer becoming more advanced as a result of the delay.
Many cancers are fast growing and therefore it is vitally important that a diagnosis is made as soon as possible.
Pursing these claims can often be very difficult depending on the nature and severity of the claimant’s condition. We have dealt with a variety of cancer misdiagnosis cases. Claire’s story is a typical example of a cancer claim we dealt with involving delayed diagnosis of breast cancer.
In some cases, legal funding can be obtained for your case.