Delayed Diagnosis Terminology

A delayed diagnosis occurs when a patient’s health condition or ailment is not diagnosed within a reasonable amount of time. As a result, their condition is likely to worsen.

A differential diagnosis is a systemic method used by doctors to identify a disease or condition in a patient. It is a list of possible conditions or diseases that could be causing symptoms. It’s based off of the facts obtained from the symptoms, medical history, basic laboratory results, and a physical examination.

Errors in diagnostic tests is when a doctor fails to correctly diagnose a condition because they relied on inaccurate results from laboratory tests, radiology films, or other information.

Failure to diagnose refers to the failure of a medical professional to correctly diagnose a medical condition.

Failure to diagnose a related disease is when the doctor correctly diagnoses one disease, but fails to diagnose a related disease. A related disease is one that often goes hand-in-hand with the primary condition or that manifests more frequently in patients with the primary disease.

Failure to diagnose an unrelated disease is when the doctor correctly diagnoses one disease, but fails to diagnose a completely unrelated second disease.

Failure to recognize complications is when a doctor makes the right diagnosis, but fails to identify complications or factors which change or aggravate the illness or condition.

Failure to warn a patient of known risks is when a physician fails to warn a patient of the known risks of treatments or procedures. Physicians are required to provide such warnings.

Improper medical treatment generally refers to a situation in which a physician properly diagnoses a patient, but prescribes the wrong form of treatment to cure their medical condition.

A missed diagnosis occurs when a doctor fails to make a proper diagnosis or fails to advise a patient of his/her medical diagnosis.

Medical malpractice occurs when a hospital, doctor, or other health care professional, through a negligent act or omission, causes an injury to a patient.

Medical negligence occurs when a licensed medical professional’s treatment of a patient does not meet the “standard of care” and as a result, causes harm to the patient.

Wrong diagnosis, or misdiagnosis, is when the doctor misidentifies the illness.

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