What is Failure to Diagnose?

Failure to diagnose a disease in a timely manner can make the difference between life and death. When an illness is not treated promptly and correctly, it may progress to an untreatable, unmanageable stage, leading to death. A failed, delayed or inaccurate diagnosis acts like a snowball moving down a mountain, gathering speed and volume. The success of treatment options and survival chances are directly related to detecting a disease at the earliest possible stage, making screening tests and recognition of early warning signs critical for patient survival.

Failure to order x-rays, CAT scans, MRIs, mammograms, ultrasounds, laboratory blood work, or to improperly interpret and report results, all contribute to a failure to diagnose. Failure to perform basic screening tests and examinations that are standard practice within the medical community is also considered failure to diagnose. Any of these steps along the way can result in worsening of a treatable medical condition leading to premature and unnecessary death.

Martha Gold is a New York medical malpractice attorney who has successfully represented many victims and families who have been forced to deal with the impact of failure to diagnose. She is familiar with the special issues and complexities that are involved in this area of the law, and draws on her extensive experience in medical negligence to represent her clients.