Misdiagnosis is recognized as a serious legal issue. In fact, it can be one of the most disastrous medical errors. Among Georgia medical malpractice attorneys, it’s well understood that a diagnostic error can lead to serious health effects.

By making an incorrect diagnosis, doctors start a trail of errors. They may prescribe the wrong treatments for the wrong condition, and the symptoms of the actual problem can get much worse before they realize their error. That means that the patient has suffered more pain and more symptoms than they should have.

As diseases progress without being treated appropriately, they can also become more dangerous. For example, as a cancer develops, it can metastasize and spread. When treatment starts late, the improper diagnosis can jeopardize the patient’s chances of recovering. Sometimes, a misdiagnosis can even lead to a patient’s death.

One way to guard against misdiagnosis is to have a real dialogue with the physician. It’s a good idea to bring a list of questions to appointments and feel free to take notes. Patients shouldn’t be afraid to ask the doctor to repeat him or herself. It’s also okay to ask if the doctor thinks a different specialist can help.

People who suspect a misdiagnosis in their own case should follow their doctor’s advice in the short term unless it causes more discomfort. They should keep track of their symptoms and be proactive about seeking additional medical opinions. There’s no reason to sit and wait just because a doctor said so; doctors can and do make mistakes.

Medical misdiagnosis can cause financial, medical and emotional turmoil. Anyone who suspects that they are a victim of medical malpractice may contact an experienced advocate. An attorney may be able to evaluate the case and recommend the best possible course of action.