When many people think of medical malpractice, it is usually surgical errors that come to mind. Afterall, even the most routine of surgeries can go wrong because of some type of medical negligence on the part of the surgical team. However, a great many medical malpractice incidents are a result of misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis. This type of malpractice can be very serious – and even fatal – because of the delay in correcting treating the patient’s medical condition.
When a patient is a victim of misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, there are several dangerous issues they face. The first issue is that the patient’s actual medical condition is not being addressed. There are many medical conditions that can have dire consequences the longer they go untreated, such as cancer or heart disease.
If the doctor makes an incorrect diagnosis, they may also have prescribed medications and other treatments to address the incorrect medical diagnosis. This can be just as dangerous as no treatments because the patient is being medication that they do not need. There is not only the risk of known side effects the treatments may have, but the patient is also at risk because they are taking a medication they do not need.
These medical mistakes can leave patients overwhelmed with medical issues, high medical bills, loss of income from being unable to work, pain and suffering, emotional anguish, and worsening conditions. In some cases, these mistakes can cause the patient’s death.
How Prevalent Is Misdiagnosis and Delayed Diagnosis?
Multiple studies by leading medical universities reveal that medical error and misdiagnosis are the third largest cause of death in this country. In one year, there are 250,000 patients who die from medical errors. Each year, medical errors are responsible for 10 percent of all deaths in the United States. For those victims who survive the injuries from misdiagnosis, approximately 160,000 suffer permanent disabilities.
How Can Patients Avoid Misdiagnosis?
We all want to believe that we can trust the care and opinions we receive from our doctors and other medical professionals we choose. But the above statistics show this is not always the case and you may need to speak with a lawyer.
Although avoiding misdiagnosis may not always be possible, there are some steps patients can take to reduce the risk of being a victim. One of the most effective ways to avoid misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis is to get a second opinion. This is especially important if the original diagnosis is from a primary care physician and not a doctor who specializes in the area of medicine that focuses on that condition (i.e. neurologist, cardiologist).
Contact an Experienced Geo Area Medical Malpractice Attorney
Throughout the United States, hundreds of thousands of people are impacted by the negligence of medical staff each year. At name of firm, our team of dedicated attorneys have decades of experience helping those impacted by medical malpractice. If your family has suffered harm because of medical error, contact our knowledgeable team of geo area personal injury attorneys. For additional information, call a law office today to schedule a free consultation.