Medical misdiagnosis is when a doctor fails to diagnosis or realize a certain disease that he ordinarily should be aware of, or at least investigate, under the circumstances. Medical misdiagnosis, or failure to diagnose, is a type of medical malpractice in Oklahoma.
Malpractice is a legal term that refers to a professional’s performance that falls well below the accepted standard of care for the profession. In the medical context, a doctor must perform at the levels of professionalism and care set by the doctors of the profession. Essentially, doctors set their own standards of care by conforming to accepted standards of their profession.
When a doctor commits malpractice, that doctor has performed a procedure that is not up to the standards of what a good doctor should do. Sometimes, a doctor’s failure to diagnose a certain condition can be malpractice if under same or similar circumstances, an ordinarily reasonable physician would have identified signs of the disease or condition, or would have ran additional tests to confirm or deny such disease or condition.
How a Doctor’s Failure to Diagnose can cause great harm to Patients’ in Oklahoma
When a patient goes to see a doctor about a particular concern, that patient has a suspicion that something might be wrong. For instance, a man has chest pain. He does not know if the pain is a heart condition, or indigestion or “heartburn” from greasy or spicy food. He decides to play it safe and go to the hospital anyway. Once at the hospital, he explains his concern to the physician.
In the medical context, physicians have a rule that you always rule out the most dangerous condition first. So before concluding that the issue is simply indigestion, a reasonable physician would first seek to rule out the most harmful condition first, such as a heart attack.
But if the physician simply concludes the man is having simple chest pain, without analyzing and investigating the possibility of a more serious condition, that physician has not given the patient proper care and has fallen below what a good doctor should do. If the man goes home and suffers a heart attack, that doctor could be liable for failing to diagnose the potential heart issue if a reasonable physician under those circumstances should have discovered the heart condition.
If a person thinks he may be suffering from a heart condition, but doesn’t know for sure, he goes to the hospital specifically to rule out the possibility of something serious, like a heart attack. This is why the patient came in to see the doctor in the first place. To rule out the possibility of something more serious than just a common ailment, like “heartburn.”
Oklahoma Lawyer Represents Patients against Physicians for Failure to Diagnose
If you believe a doctor failed to catch or diagnose a disease before it caused great harm to you, you may have a lot of questions about your case. We work closely with physicians in reviewing our prospective cases, so that we can give clients the answers and explanations they have been looking for.
Oklahoma City Attorney Travis Charles Smith comes from a family of physicians, and understands the great privilege and duty that all doctors undertake when they see patients. Statistically, most physicians are good doctors. A very small percentage of physicians are responsible for the majority of malpractice in the medical profession. Rooting out these dangerous doctors is important to the safety of all patients in Oklahoma.
If you have questions or would like a free case screening, contact us by email or phone. We will make arrangements to obtain and review your medical documents, and schedule a free consultation. All of our medical cases are taken on a contingency fee basis, which means we charge the client nothing unless we win and we finance all the litigation expenses, as well.