When you go to a doctor or a hospital in West Virginia, you may expect a correct diagnosis of the medical issues that you face. Unfortunately, one of the most common problems that patients face with their medical treatment is a misdiagnosis. Incorrect diagnoses may be common when people have rare diseases, but in many cases they occur even when medical professionals had the information they needed to make a correct diagnosis but instead misinterpreted tests, ignored evidence or otherwise failed to use best practices to treat their patient.
Retinal detachment can have a severe effect on your eyesight and even lead to permanent loss of vision. You may seek out medical attention after you start to see flashes of light in your eyes, floaters in your vision or blurry eyesight. Early diagnosis is critical for a good outcome in retinal detachment; late diagnosis may mean that vision damage is irreversible. In one study of medical malpractice claims related to ophthalmologists, researchers found that 29% of all misdiagnosis claims involved retinal detachment. In most of these cases, doctors failed to diagnose the injury, leading to permanent injury or loss of vision.
In many cases, a misdiagnosis has been linked to distraction. Doctors may be dealing with texts and calls from patients while reviewing another case, or they may have difficulty using certain types of electronic medical record systems. As a result, they may not pay enough attention to a patient to note the telltale signs of retinal detachment.
A misdiagnosis could constitute medical malpractice
If your doctor missed your retinal detachment, you may have lost the opportunity for full vision correction as this injury becomes progressively worse the longer it is allowed to continue. Patients who have experienced worsened health as a result of a physician’s misdiagnosis might consult with a medical malpractice attorney to discuss the potential to seek compensation.