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What do I do if a doctor failed to diagnose my condition?

When Illinois residents go to the doctor's office to find out what is ailing them, they rarely consider the fact that their doctor might not be making a correct diagnosis or that the treating physician has failed to diagnose their problem, but this is often the case. An incorrect diagnosis or a failure to diagnose can lead to delays in treatment that can adversely affect a patient's health.

Differential diagnosis plays a role in the way doctors are trained and supposed to make a diagnosis. To provide one, doctors are supposed to list a number of differing diagnosis that could be contributing to a patient's ill health. This list is supposed to be in descending order of probability. To determine if medical malpractice took place, courts look at whether a reasonably prudent doctor would have considered the cause of the presenting symptoms. If the condition is not on the doctor's differential diagnosis list, or it is listed and related tests were not conducted, then a case for medical malpractice might exist.

Another case that arises is when someone is treated for the wrong condition. In these situations, the treatment itself may cause harm to the patient, in addition to the harm already being suffered by non-diagnosis of the original condition. A misdiagnosis could result from either misidentifying the condition or considering a symptom as harmless.

Proving that a timely diagnosis could have prevented a worsening condition is often not easy to do or that a conventional treatment would have worked rather than a novel one. When someone has been wronged by the medical professional they entrusted their life to, they might want to consider consulting an experienced attorney to discuss their legal options.

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