Failure to Perform Proper Testing
Doctors failing to order necessary medical testing is the most common diagnostic error in the United States. As a result, many medical malpractice lawsuits are brought each year in Pennsylvania and courts across the nation for failure to perform proper testing. When a doctor fails to order the correct medical tests, you are in danger of permanent injury or death as your medical condition may not be diagnosed and treated.
All doctors are under a legal obligation to properly examine and treat all patients. Where a doctor fails to test properly and fails to order all correct tests, the doctor has failed in their obligation to properly examine a patient. Similarly, work done in the medical laboratory must be competently done and free of errors for it to be useful to any medical practice.
If you believe treatment for your medical condition was delayed because certain diagnostic tests were not ordered or lab errors led to a missed, delayed or improper diagnosis, you should contact Matzus Law LLC, an experienced Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania medical malpractice firm.
Doctors who fail to perform proper medical testing endanger lives
In 2006, a study examined over 300 medical malpractice cases in which the legal cause of action alleged that the medical professional missed or delayed the diagnosis.
55 percent of cases involved a failure to order an appropriate diagnostic test. This was the most common diagnostic error.
The most frequent factors that contributed to missed and delayed diagnoses involved the following actions and inaction by medical professionals:
In some cases, doctors fail to order appropriate tests because they are seeing patients outside their top areas of expertise and training. This is far more common that most non-medical professionals believe. When this happens, a doctor might fail to perform proper testing because they are seeing a patient with an illness or injury they have very little, if any, experience in treating. In such a situation, the standard of care is more than likely to involve a specialist, but this is overlooked at times, resulting in failure to perform proper testing. At other times, a patient is assigned to see several doctors, and false assumptions can be made about who is responsible for ordering which tests, who is the lead physician, and what responsibility falls under the purview of specialists.
Legal Responsibility for Failure to Perform Proper Testing
As it is far from uncommon for a doctor to negligently fail to order appropriate tests for a patient, experienced medical malpractice law firms such as Matzus Law LLC have seen many types of failure to perform proper testing.
Specialists such as neurologists could fail to perform the appropriate scans within a reasonable time for a patient suspected of having a tumor. An orthopaedist, may fail to perform the proper testing that would have shown ligament tears in a competitive athlete who then suffers a career-ending injury. It is not only specialists and general practitioners who fail to perform private testing, but also emergency room physicians and other medical professionals who work on highly time-sensitive cases where delay can mean death.
For any medical malpractice claim, including claims that the medical professional failed to perform proper testing, it is essential to establish the negligence of the doctor responsible for your care. While most medical personnel in the United States are highly qualified and competent, medical errors kill or permanently disable roughly 100,000 Americans each year.
All doctors have a responsibility to provide their patients a thorough and accurate assessment of their condition and to order all of the tests necessary to arrive at an accurate diagnosis. When a doctor fails to perform the proper testing in your case and you suffer harm that could have been prevented, they can be held legally liable for their mistake.
Negligence is the legal basis of all medical malpractice claims, including claims for failure to perform proper testing
At Matzus Law LLC, we counsel our clients that in order to bring any valid medical malpractice case, it is not enough to identify that there was a diagnostic error and you were injured. The mishap must have been due to the medical negligence of a doctor, or other responsible medical professional.
The following legal elements must always be established to show that a medical professional was negligent:
The medical professional had a standard of care to uphold during the procedure. The standard of care is the level of care and skill that is expected of the medical professional. The law looks at what a medical professional with similar training would have done in the same or similar situation. Doctors are trained in medical school to accurately diagnose medical conditions. This is the standard of care required of all doctors.
The medical professional failed to uphold the standard. Whether by action or inaction, a doctor or other medical professional performs below the standard of care and skill expected of them. This is a crucial point. The medical professional is not only responsible when they act, but also when they fail to act but the standard of care dictates that they should have. This includes all of the steps in properly diagnosing a patient, including an obligation to perform proper testing, and adhering to the best practices of their areas of medical specialization.
The medical professional’s diagnostic error caused you harm. There has to be a demonstrable connection between the doctor’s failure to perform proper testing (failure to act according to the prescribed standard of care) and your medical condition. If there is no causal link between the two, there is no legal case. Only where your condition could have been known if the medical professional adhered to the standard of care will there be the grounds for a legal case for failure to perform proper testing.
Yes. We regularly work on behalf of clients who have suffered an injury due to failure to perform proper testing. We have expertise in various areas of medical malpractice law, so please contact us to learn more about our practice.
Inadequate testing follow-up is a common subset of failure to perform proper testing. Where your doctor’s failure to communicate with you after your test may constitute medical malpractice. Contact Matzus Law LLC today so we can begin a thorough review of the circumstances surrounding your potential claim for failure to perform proper testing.
A plaintiff in any medical malpractice lawsuit, which failure to perform proper testing is, can seek to recover lost wages, hospital bills, medical expenses from past and future treatment, as well as damages for pain and suffering caused by your injuries.
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