Illinois residents go to doctors because they are having symptoms that they cannot explain. They rely on medical professionals to figure out what is wrong and provide a course of treatment that will either cure or manage the issue. A failure to diagnose and treat an illness at all, or in a timely manner, could lead to irreparable harm from which the patient might never fully recover, if at all. In some cases, the patient does not survive.
When a patient visits a doctor, the doctor will ordinarily perform what medical professionals refer to as a differential diagnosis. Since the same symptoms can be present in a variety of illnesses and conditions, doctors use a process of elimination to determine the cause of the patient's symptoms. Sometimes, this process can be time consuming since different testing will need to be done to eliminate some conditions and find the right one.
However, even if a diagnosis is made, it might not be the right one. Any treatment prescribed might be correct for the diagnosis made, but could cause further harm to the patient because it is not the right diagnosis. If the right diagnosis is made, a doctor might deviate from accepted treatments, which could also harm the patient.
It will take other medical professionals to determine exactly what happened and whether a failure to diagnose and properly treat a patient could be considered medical malpractice. These cases are often complex, time consuming and emotionally draining for Illinois victims and/or their families. However, a successful claim could provide monetary restitution and an opportunity to prevent other patients from suffering as the victim did.
Source: FindLaw, "Failed/Erroneous Diagnosis and Treatment", Dec. 25, 2016