For any medical condition, from physical injuries to mental health problems, it is essential to seek help from a professional as soon as possible. Any illness or ailment requires swift diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
As they have undergone years of education and training, we willingly – and understandably – put our complete trust in doctors, physicians and medical practitioners. However, even the professionals can get it wrong and a vast number of patients are misdiagnosed every year.
A study published by Reuters suggested that missed or wrong diagnoses in primary care had put thousands of patients at risk of complications. One such difficulty was making an accurate diagnosis of certain common systems including stomach aches and shortness of breath.
If you have been incorrectly diagnosed, you may want to consider the following steps.
Express your concerns and ask questions
It is absolutely essential to provide your doctor with as much information regarding your condition as possible. Failure to do so increases the chances of being misdiagnosed.
Even if you have done all of this, don’t be afraid to express your concerns and ask questions. You have the right to know the reasons behind a diagnosis and any good doctor will be more than happy to explain. You may also want to ask what other conditions exist with similar symptoms and whether any alternative treatment is available.
Ask for a second opinion
In the aforementioned study, researchers said that less attention had generally been paid to diagnoses in the doctor’s office. Therefore seek the help from an alternative general practitioner, a professional at a medical centre, or for more serious cases, a hospital.
Either you will receive the same diagnosis, meaning treatment can commence, or be given a different verdict. In this scenario, you will have to be careful about the next course of action. However, discussing your situation in detail with an impartial professional is advisable.
While the majority of professionals do not recommend that patients research and diagnose their own problems, a huge amount of medical information is available from public libraries, educational institutions and internet resources.
It is a great way to understand the problems associated with your condition and find ways to deal with any issues. Support groups may be able to help you out and provide advice about further options.
Take legal action
If the treatment you received as a result of a medical misdiagnosis has caused further pain or injury you may be able to make a compensation claim. If a patient can prove they received incorrect diagnosis and treatment or had important symptoms ignored, damages could be paid.
It is advisable to contact medical negligence solicitors and thoroughly explain your situation in order to receive some sort of compensation. In addition to any further pain or injuries, an individual may also suffer from anxiety, stress or a psychological condition following a misdiagnosis.