Both delayed diagnosis and misdiagnosis of serious illnesses and diseases can have a severe, damaging impact on patients. Medical negligence can hinder patients’ recovery due to not receiving adequate treatment as soon as possible. Illnesses often progress and become more serious, even fatal.
A few common types of medical misdiagnosis are:
- Failure of referring patients to specialists.
- Failure of interpreting scans or x-rays adequately.
- Failure of listening to patients’ concerns and details.
- Failure of conducting adequate or thorough examinations.
As an infection that can rapidly develop, meningitis needs to be diagnosed quickly and accurately to avoid patients from having permanent disabilities. In addition to the psychological and physical impact, meningitis can also be fatal.
Both the spinal cord and the protective tissue membranes that surround the brain are inflamed, which can irreversibly damage patients’ brain and nerves. There are two main types of meningitis, and an adequate diagnosis requires them to be clearly distinguished.
Viral meningitis, the lesser serious type, is spread by sneezing, coughing, and poor hygiene and caused by viruses. Most commonly affecting young children and babies, viral meningitis is unpleasant, but a complete recovery can often occur. Some long-term and severe symptoms, however, can result from this illness.
The more serious type of meningitis, bacterial meningitis, can be caused by bacteria such as Streptococcus pneumonia or Neisseria meningitidis. Because this type of meningitis needs to be treated immediately, a misdiagnosis can mean that tests such as a lumbar puncture aren’t carried out to confirm the type of meningitis.
Meningococcal bacteria are very common, causing septicaemia, meningitis, or both. Several long-term dangers of this illness are hearing loss, brain damage, seizures, brain swelling and brain damage, or loss of limbs if there is also septicaemia.
Cancer misdiagnosis, whether delayed or incorrect, can occur due to medical staff not having adequate time to evaluate patients, not having access to a complete medical history, and missing information. Mistakes can occur due to:
- Medical tests improperly conducted.
- Failing to obtain a biopsy of irregular masses.
- False positives that can lead to unnecessary or inadequate treatment.
- Failure to take patients’ symptoms seriously.
With modern medicine, timely diagnosis of cancers can often help patients to live beyond the typical five-year milestone. When medical staff fail to promptly diagnose cancer, this illness can develop into advanced stages that are untreatable.
Characterised by symptoms such as sleep issues, muscle and joint pain, anxiety, and fatigue, fibromyalgia is a chronic condition often mistaken for other illnesses. Middle-aged women have a higher probability of having fibromyalgia, particularly with a history of the illness and rheumatic disease in the family.
This illness is often mistaken for chronic fatigue syndrome, lupus, or rheumatoid arthritis.
There are two types of diabetes; type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune illness in which the body destroys the pancreas cells that produce insulin, and type 2 diabetes, in which the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or can’t use it properly. The latter is often managed with medication and diet changes.
Type 1 diabetes is often misdiagnosed as type 2 diabetes in adulthood.
Having illnesses or diseases diagnosed as quickly as possible is just as important as having a correct diagnosis. Medical negligence can have a serious impact on patients’ lives and their families, with long-term care often needed or illnesses becoming fatal.