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How do differential diagnoses protect patients?

On Behalf of | Sep 6, 2018 | Personal Injury |

Going to the doctor is rarely a fun event for an Illinois resident. Rather, it is usually a necessary evil for a person to figure out what is wrong with their health. Whether they are experiencing pain or cold symptoms or something entirely different, a patient will generally trust the diagnosis that their doctor provides for them and the course of treatment that goes along with it.

Most doctors’ appointments will involve patients answering a lot of questions about how they are feeling, when their ailments began, and if they have noticed other changes to their health. Doctors seek to collect this important information so that they can rule out possible causes and hone in on the most likely culprits for their patients’ suffering. Working through information to eliminate possible causes of their patients’ conditions is how doctors engage with differential diagnoses.

A doctor may order certain tests and evaluations to get more information about a patient before they eliminate a possible diagnosis from consideration. Blood work, urinalysis, and other tests may reveal new data that can help a doctor treat their patient appropriately. However, when doctors skip evaluations or discount certain potential diagnoses without reason they can leave their patients with misdiagnoses, lingering suffering, and other possible consequences.

The failure of a doctor to work through differential diagnoses may constitute medical malpractice if their negligence leads to a worsened condition for the patient. When medical professionals fail to exercise reasonable care for practitioners in their fields, they put their patients’ health and safety at risk. Victims of medical malpractice often have rights to sue for their losses and the recovery of their damages.