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A guide to dealing with a delayed diagnosis

Recommended tips for dealing with a delayed diagnosis

Sometimes a diagnostic journey can be long and stressful for a patient and their family.

If you are dealing with a delay between the presentation of your symptoms and a diagnosis, or have faced one in the past, our medical negligence solicitors have outlined the steps we recommend that you follow as well as details of the support that we can provide to you at this difficult time.

Trust your instincts

Symptom misinterpretation is a common cause of delayed diagnosis. This occurs when a doctor incorrectly attributes a patient’s symptoms to a certain condition or illness.

If you feel that your medical treatment is either having no or a detrimental effect, trust your instincts and book another appointment with your GP to highlight your concerns.

Persist and don’t give up

Unfortunately, with some conditions having similar symptoms or vague warning signs, patients can end up having to visit their GP repeatedly over an extended period of time before the right tests are sought and a correct diagnosis is given.

Even if you initially accept a diagnosis, but subsequently find that your symptoms persist or worsen following treatment, book another appointment and another one after that if necessary.

Shortening the time between the presentation of symptoms and a correct diagnosis can stop you from suffering unnecessarily. It can also help to prevent more severe symptoms and invasive treatment further down the line. Where patients are dealing with a life threatening condition, early diagnosis can help them to avoid the worst from happening and also provide them with more time to enjoy with those closest to them.

Seek different medical advice

If you are uncomfortable with the diagnosis you have been given by a certain practitioner, don’t hesitate to seek a second opinion. This can help to confirm whether or not the diagnosis and treatment you were first given was correct.

Prior to getting a second opinion, you should have a meeting with your initial practitioner to discuss any issues and air your concerns. You can also request a written copy of test results from your doctor, and get them to explain everything to you.

Seek legal advice

If your health and wellbeing have been affected by a delayed diagnosis, our medical negligence department can help you to pursue a claim in compensation for any pain and suffering, medical issues and financial setbacks caused.

Contact us on 0844 984 6444 for an initial consultation with a medical specialist, where we will discuss the options that are available to you.

Contact us Find out more about our Medical Negligence Department

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