None of us plan on having to visit the emergency room. Usually, a visit to the E.R. is a matter of urgency and necessity. Still, the urgent nature of the trip shouldn’t blind patients and/or medical providers from certain cautions.

Too often, errors are made in hospitals. One type of serious medical error is misdiagnosis of various conditions. Misdiagnoses can lead to a condition getting worse or turning fatal. Therefore, it is crucial to reduce the chance of a misdiagnosis or failed diagnosis.

There are various ways a patient can be their own best advocate in order to get the proper treatment. The following are a few quick tips on how to ensure you are doing what you can to best help a medical provider diagnose and treat you:

  • Take down notes about your situation and its symptoms, including a timeline to share at your visit.
  • Give the doctor and nurses the important, specific information about your current condition. Don’t talk too much; rather, focus on what is happening to you now. 
  • Be aware and be honest about your medical history, including any medications you use and adverse reactions you may have had to certain drugs.
  • Don’t worry about sounding “dumb” if you don’t understand what your doctor tells you. Ask for a clearer explanation. Ask him or her to repeat what they said. It is your health, and you have the right to understand what is going on.

Following the above advice is just part of misdiagnosis prevention. Medical providers have a primary role to play in ensuring that patients get the treatment they need.

If you have suffered because of a failed or missed diagnosis, don’t assume it is your fault. Talk to a medical malpractice attorney who can help identify whether doctor negligence was at play in your situation.