Gorovitz & Borten, P.C.
Attorneys at Law

550 Cochituate Road, Suite 25
Framingham, Massachusetts
Tel: (781) 890-9095
Failure to Diagnose
Most medical conditions are progressive diseases which require timely diagnosis.
Even the gravest medical illness benefits from early diagnosis and early treatment.
The failure to diagnose a patient's medical condition will often allow the patient to
suffer for a prolonged period of time and in some instances suffer irreversible
health damage. The affected patient is doubly harmed while prolonging their
suffering and postponing, and at times denying, lifesaving treatment to be properly

The greater the delay in diagnosing a medical condition, the lower the chances for
full (or even meaningful) recovery. Similarly, the greater the delay in commencing
the appropriate treatment, the lower the chances for full recovery. In situations
such as heart attacks, stroke, fetal distress and brain injury, a longer diagnosis to
treatment interval is reflected in the increase of complications and decrease in
successful recovery and long term outcome.

The most common diseases that are often the result of medical malpractice include:

  • Failure to diagnose any type of cancer (breast cancer, cervical cancer, colon
    cancer, endometrial cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer,
    rectal cancer)
  • Failure to diagnose a heart attack (myocardial infarction)
  • Failure to diagnose infection (appendicitis, endocarditis, chorioamnionitis,
    bacterial meningitis)
  • Failure to properly screen a patient prior to the performance of a surgical
  • Failure to diagnose a postoperative complication

Failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis is not always the result of medical malpractice.
Excellent physicians are often surprised at the difficulty to make an accurate
diagnosis in some patients. Some illnesses or injuries may not become immediately
evident even to the best trained physicians.

Nonetheless, a medical misdiagnosis will be considered to be the result of medical
malpractice when  the medical provider (physician, nurse practitioner, midwife) fails
to take the appropriate measures in accordance with the acceptable standard of
care under similar circumstances. Causes that lead to a medical misdiagnosis

  • Failure to take a complete medical history (including a complete family
  • Failure to determine risk factors or predispositions to certain disease
  • Failure to determine a patient's history of allergies
  • Failure to screen high risk patients for a particular medical condition
  • Failure to establish a differential diagnosis based on the patient's signs and
    symptoms (complaints)
  • Failure to order the appropriate tests to confirm or rule out a particular
  • Failure to follow up on abnormal tests results
  • Failure to order a repeat test for inconclusive results
  • Failure to identify that a test result is abnormal for a particular patient
  • failure to monitor a patient after treatment has been started
  • Failure to make the appropriate referral to another physician  more qualified
    in a particular area of medicine (specialist)
  • Failure to biopsy
  • Failure to reevaluate a diagnosis after the patient's fails to respond to
  • Failure to properly interpret test results
  • Failure to act in a timely manner after test results become available
  • Premature discharge from hospital

If you (or a loved one) are suffering from complications due to a failure to timely
diagnose (cancer, heart attack, stroke, infection), let
Dr. Borten and the Boston
area medical malpractice attorneys at Gorovitz & Borten review the specifics of your
case. We can help you assert your rights and get the compensation you deserve.
Contact Information
For a free confidential consultation and receive a response within 24 hours (when
possible), please contact us by phone, fax or e-mail with your question or concern.

Telephone:  781-890-9095     -     Fax:   781-890-9098
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