Pregnancy and childbirth are beautiful experiences that can get ruined if the doctors-in-charge make diagnosis errors. While new parents look for the best care, medical errors in diagnosis can lead to debilitating birth injuries that can cause lifelong damage, physical and mental disabilities and even death. Chicago birth injury lawyer explains how diagnosis errors can cause birth injuries.
Types of birth injury diagnosis errors
Doctors are responsible for the health of the pregnant mother and the unborn child. Even after delivery, it is the responsibility of the doctors to ensure safety and good health of both the mother and the child.
Pregnancy can, at times, present complications and underlying conditions that can be detrimental to the health of the mother and the child. Complications can also occur during or just after the birthing process. It is the doctor who should diagnose these complications and conditions and then take appropriate measures to ensure that everything is alright. Moreover, the doctor also has the responsibility of informing the mother and family of complications and counter measures that they plan to take.
Following are the types of diagnosis errors that can take place –
- Failure to diagnose – At times, doctors can completely fail to diagnose a threatening underlying medical condition or fail to diagnose a potential complication, either during the various stages of pregnancy, during childbirth or after delivery.
- Documentation failure – Diagnosis is a process that requires documentation of all procedures, symptoms, and inferences based on observation and questions asked to the patient. Similarly, all tests recommended, results of those tests, elimination of other diagnosis to reach the final diagnosis, all need to be documented. Failure to document these can lead to other medical practitioner and associated doctors to make errors caused by the missing data.
- Delay in diagnosis – Diagnosis should be made in time. Any delay can lead to serious consequences. Delay can occur if a doctor fails to recognize the symptoms of any underlying condition in time to start treatment. Other factors causing delay can be slow testing or delay in reviewing test results.
- Misdiagnosis – Misdiagnosis occurs when a doctor incorrectly interprets the symptoms, makes an erroneous diagnosis that leads to incorrect treatment, leaving the actual condition untreated.
- Failure to diagnose complications – In such cases, the doctor might have a correct diagnosis in time, however might not be able to check the complications, interpret and identify the severity of those complications and mete out correct treatment. Such an error can also occur when there are two or more conditions present.
How do such diagnosis errors occur?
Inability to diagnose a condition in time and delayed correct medical treatment can lead to diagnosis errors. Some of the factors that cause diagnosis errors are –
- Not conducting a thorough physical examination
- Not conducting appropriate screening tests
- Inability to identify signs and symptoms of a condition
- Not listening to the patient’s description of symptoms
- Not conducting appropriates tests required for symptoms indicating need for that particular test
- Interpreting test results incorrectly
- Not conducting proper follow-ups and additional tests wherever required
- Inability to refer to medical specialists whenever needed.
Incorrect or erroneous diagnosis can lead to debilitating injuries to a mother as well as the baby. Victims of diagnosis errors should contact a Chicago birth injury lawyer for legal help.