People in North Carolina may be misdiagnosed for a number of reasons. In some cases, a patient might fail to report some symptoms that would a lead a doctor to a certain diagnosis. A patient may also not get follow-up tests ordered by a doctor that could diagnose their condition.
However, there are several other ways that misdiagnoses occur that are independent of the patient's actions. A few reasons a professional may misdiagnose a disease are that the patient has a rare disease that the doctor is unfamiliar with, the doctor does not spend enough time with the patient or the doctor mistakes a less common disease for one that is common and widely publicized. If a doctor thinks a certain diagnosis is unlikely, then a test for that diagnosis might not be recommended. The disease may be one that is better diagnosed by a specialist, but a person might be seen by a general practitioner. Some diseases may simply be very difficult to correctly diagnose.
A misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose could also occur because a laboratory test returns a false positive or a false negative as all tests have certain limitations of this nature. Human error could result in a contaminated sample. The test could be misread or might not be performed correctly.
A misdiagnosis could cause a delay in a person's treatment or could even be fatal. As the above reasons demonstrate, not all misdiagnoses are cases of medical malpractice, but some may be. If a person decides to file a lawsuit, the court will consider whether the person received a reasonable standard of care. This means it will take into account whether other medical professionals might have treated the person in the same way or come to a similar conclusion.