What You Should Know About Medical Misdiagnosis

Medical misdiagnosis is becoming more frequent with doctors having a greater patient workload.

medical-misdiagnosisFailure to diagnose health conditions in a timely and proper manner leads to complications and even death. Medical misdiagnosis is becoming more frequent with doctors having to deal with a greater patient workload.

Complications of Medical Misdiagnosis

Strokes, bacterial and viral infections, embolisms, hemorrhages, deep-vein thrombosis, fractures, and heart attacks are some common medical conditions that doctors misdiagnose every year. Some doctors also make mistakes in diagnosing lung cancer, breast cancer, and several other types of cancers. The consequence of these mistakes is that the patient’s condition often becomes worse, necessitating costlier treatments. Some patients may even lose their life as a result of a medical misdiagnosis.

How Often Does Medical Misdiagnosis Happen?

A study by a research team from Baylor College of Medicine found that about 12 million patients in the country are misdiagnosed each year. To reach this estimate, the researchers reviewed previous studies on diagnoses of cancers and one primary care diagnostic study. What they also observed was that about 50 percent of those patients misdiagnosed are suffering from life-threatening conditions such as cancer. The research team checked the previous studies and data to find out whether misdiagnosed patients returned to their doctors after their initial visits. If patients happened to return, they checked for the length of time taken before that actually happened.

The researchers looked for indicators showing that enough information for a correct diagnosis was available at the time of the patient’s initial visit. Their conclusion was that some doctors could have made a right diagnosis based on information available to them. Some of these errors made in misdiagnosing a patient’s condition are preventable. You may be surprised to know that these errors, some of which can be avoided, lead to the death of almost 100,000 patients annually.

Recommendations

Missouri medical malpractice lawyers advise that patients should endeavor to be more proactive in getting the right diagnosis. Patients should take time to clarify issues that they do not understand with the doctor. It is also helpful to seek diagnosis from more than one doctor.

Doctors owe their patients the duty of providing them proper care. If you or a lived one have suffered due to a misdiagnosis contact our law firm by calling (314) 588-7200 and schedule a free consultation.

Photo credit: Adrian Clark via Flickr

Missouri Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you have suffered as a result of medical malpractice, contact our legal team right away. Waiting to seek legal representation can prevent you from filing a claim and receiving the compensation you deserve.


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