Did Your Doctor Forget to Order These Common Diagnostic Tests?

Diagnostic tests are important tools that a medical doctor can order or use to get more information about a patient’s symptoms. When used correctly, they can be the difference between a patient getting the help they need and a patient’s conditions worsening and causing more harm. When not used at all, though, a doctor might inadvertently commit medical malpractice in the form of misdiagnosis. The same is true if they order a test too late.

Did your doctor forget to order some of these common diagnostic tests?

  • Biopsy: A valuable medical test to identify the early signs of cancer and other serious diseases is the biopsy. During this procedure, a doctor will remove cells from the patient’s body and send them to a pathologist for study. Some biopsies can be completed using a needle, which takes only a moment to extract cells and tissue. Other biopsies require surgery to complete, which might be an inpatient or outpatient procedure.
  • CT Scan: A computed tomography (CT) scan is one of the most common types of diagnostic imaging tests used in medical settings to get a detailed look at what is happening inside of a patient’s body. To complete a CT scan, the patient lies on a table while being slowly moved through the center of the scanner, which is an entirely painless process. One scan can reveal internal bleeding, bone fractures, blood clots, certain types of cancer, and more.
  • Colonoscopy: Although they are not known as one of the more comfortable diagnostic procedures, colonoscopies are quite safe and can catch a variety of potential health issues that tend to manifest in the lower digestion tract. The procedure should be ordered routinely for any patients who are aged 50 or older to spot the first signs of colon and rectal cancers. A colonoscopy can also explain sudden weight loss, chronic stomach pain, and other issues that might seem benign but be part of a serious issue.
  • Blood or laboratory tests: A quick blood draw can produce enough blood to fill several vials, which are then sent to a diagnostic laboratory for further testing and study. The information that laboratory technicians find in your blood can reveal signs of cancer, diabetes, sexually transmitted diseases, and so on. Some laboratory tests can also be completed using urine samples and small pieces of tissue extracted using a cheek swab if blood is not an option.
  • MRI: Like a CT scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a form of full-body scan that requires a patient to lie still while the scanner completes a slow – slower than many patients expect – pass around them. An MRI device uses a magnet and radio waves to “see” inside a patient’s body with incredible detail. For this reason, MRIs should be ordered if a doctor suspects that their patient is suffering from an acute or localized illness affecting a complex organ, like the brain or spinal cord.
  • X-rays: Perhaps the most recognizable form of diagnostic imagining is the x-ray. A traditional x-ray is suitable for less in-depth studies of a patient’s internal organs and bones, so it is a reliable test when a patient has a fracture or unexplained chest pain. Patients do not need to be worried about radiation exposure during an x-ray procedure, either. A single chest x-ray exposes the patient to the same amount of radiation they would experience in about 10 days of day-to-day life, which is to say a minuscule amount.

There are many more types of medical diagnostic tests that a doctor can order. The aforementioned list is only a quick review of some of the most common tests available at most clinics. If your doctor failed to consider using these tests to better diagnose your injury or illness, then there could be a serious issue with their ability to treat you, verging on medical malpractice.

Can You Sue If Your Doctor Didn’t Test You?

Your medical provider owes it to you to follow an acceptable standard of care when conducting any medical procedure, including initial diagnoses. If another doctor in their situation would have likely ordered a diagnostic test and your doctor did not, then they might have committed a medical error. That error can escalate to medical malpractice worthy of a claim if your condition worsens due to being undiagnosed and unaddressed.

If you live in Philadelphia and you think your doctor misdiagnosed you because they did not order the right diagnostic tests, call (215) 278-4449 today and speak with an attorney from Golomb & Honik, P.C. You might have a medical malpractice claim worth pursuing. Let us know what happened and we will let you know what to do next.

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