Pediatricians and diagnostic errors

Evaluating your symptoms and coming up with a diagnosis and treatment plan is one of the primary jobs you trust your North Carolina health care provider with. If it is not immediately obvious, you expect tests and specialists to enter the picture. As our legal team at The Melvin Law Firm knows, getting the wrong diagnosis, or getting the right one too late, can be devastating to your health. 

Your regular provider is not the only one susceptible to errors. Pediatricians can also make mistakes, as PinnacleCare.com points out. In one study involving 1,300 pediatricians, more than half said they regularly made one or two misdiagnoses each month. Insurance data indicates that wrong diagnosis was the cause of 61 percent of the medical malpractice cases against these doctors. 

Pediatricians are not typically specialists. Just like your doctor, your child’s doctor may not tie symptoms to a rare disease, and may develop a plan of action that delays treatment. If the pediatrician does diagnose your child with a rare or serious condition, you should seek a second opinion from a specialist.

A pediatrician may have trouble diagnosing an illness because your child is not old enough to provide information about aches and pains. You can help by making careful observations of your child and reporting these. You should also make sure that your child’s doctor is not missing any of your child’s personal and family medical history. 

More information about medical mistakes, diagnostic errors and failure to refer is available on our webpage.

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