Providing a correct and timely diagnosis of disease is essential to ensuring the best possible recovery for patients.
To make a correct diagnosis, patients will typically receive a range of tests including blood tests and imaging (i.e. MRI, CT, X-ray, and ultra-sound). This data combined with the other information gathered from medical notes, patient input and other sources, will allow doctors to form an opinion.
However, on occasion, medical professionals may fail to spot the signs of disease until it has advanced further and this may have serious health consequences to the life of the individual affected.
What is meant by ‘delayed diagnosis’?
Failure to provide a diagnosis may be caused by several factors depending on the patient pathway taken. A patient presenting to their GP with signs of disease which requires the attention of a specialist should be referred by that GP. Many GPs prefer to be cautious in their approach and will make a referral if there is even a suggestion of disease. However, if they fail to recognise symptoms of potentially serious illness, this may lead to an incorrect or delayed diagnosis.
If the patient presents to their nearest A&E department with specific symptoms of disease, it will be the health professionals’ task to complete the necessary medical work to determine if the patient needs further medical input. A failure to spot the signs of disease at this point could lead to a patient being discharged, when they should have been admitted or referred. In such contexts, while A&E departments are sometimes extremely busy, medical physicians still have a duty of care to patients. If delayed diagnosis is due to an incorrect interpretation of a scan, or if the physician was too junior to complete this task, these actions may constitute medical negligence.
What is a ‘differential diagnosis’?
A differential diagnosis is the process undertaken by a medical physician to determine the cause of your presenting symptoms. From the range of possible conditions, based on the information provided and test results received, a doctor will discount other conditions and arrive at a final diagnosis. If your doctor selects the incorrect diagnosis, causing your true diagnosis to be delayed, you may have a claim in medical negligence.
Can I bring a claim for medical negligence due to a delayed diagnosis?
To bring a claim for medical negligence due to a delayed diagnosis, it will be necessary to provide evidence that:
- The standard of care you received fell below that of a competent physician of the same level, and;
- This negligence caused damage or injury.
To prove your case, we will compile evidence including medical records, and expert medical opinion.
If you are unsure whether you have a valid case, speak to one of our delayed diagnosis medical negligence solicitors. Our team will take the time to listen to the details of what happened and provide an honest assessment of the claim.
Why should I consider Lavelle Partners’ Medical Negligence Solicitors to handle my case?
- At the heart of our practice is our passion and desire to put your needs first.
- Lavelle Partners have successfully managed many cases involving injuries due to delayed diagnosis medical negligence.
- Our personal injury team, headed by partner, Avril Scally, who herself has over 15 years’ experience in medical negligence claims, place client care at the centre of everything they do.
- From the first moment you speak to one of our solicitors, we will listen to your case carefully and with empathy and will only recommend advancing your case if we believe you have a valid case.
- We have both the legal expertise and understanding of the real-life challenges faced by those affected by delayed diagnosis.
- Our solicitors will manage the process entirely on your behalf; compiling the information necessary for your case, including medical notes and managing the submission of your medical negligence claim.
- We will manage any subsequent questions and/or provide further information where required.
By allowing us to handle your claim on your behalf, you can focus on what is most important – your recovery and care, or that of your family member or loved one.
For further information on making a claim following medical negligence due to delayed diagnosis in Ireland, please contact Lavelle Partners in confidence on (01) 644 5800 or email Avril Scally at [email protected]
*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement. This statement is made in compliance with RE.8 of SI 518 of 2002.