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How is misdiagnosis different from delayed diagnosis?

On Behalf of | Jul 13, 2023 | Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice can happen in many ways. One of the most common issues is misdiagnosis.

People often confuse misdiagnosis with delayed diagnosis. They are not the same and can result in very different outcomes.

Misdiagnosis defined

Misdiagnosis happens when a medical professional diagnoses you with the wrong condition or illness. A misdiagnosis results in you getting treatment for the wrong ailment. It can lead to additional issues since you may experience side effects from the unnecessary treatments. In addition, because you are not getting the correct attention to what is really wrong, your actual condition may worsen.

Delayed diagnosis defined

A delayed diagnosis occurs when your doctor takes a long time to figure out what is wrong. In some situations, the doctor may not be using the correct testing or may be trying to figure out your ailment with no luck. In other cases, this can occur when the doctor is not attentive to your complaints and keeps pushing you off without doing the proper diagnosis. In either situation, the delay in treatment can allow your condition to worsen.

Comparison of the diagnostic errors

Misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis both leave your condition without the needed treatment, which can lead to complications and additional issues. But the key difference is with a misdiagnosis, you get treatment that is not beneficial to you and that can introduce other health problems, compounding your health situation.

Whether a doctor misses what is wrong with you or mistakes it for something else, it could be a medical malpractice situation, especially if you suffer because of it.