How common is misdiagnosis? Misdiagnosis is a serious but preventable medical error. It occurs when a doctor tells a patient that they have a condition or disease which they don’t have. For example, a doctor may diagnose a patient with general indigestion when they actually have celiac disease.
Misdiagnosis is an issue that is concerningly widespread in the United States. According to a study published in the Official Journal to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine, about 34% of malpractice cases resulting in death or permanent disability stemmed directly from inaccurate or delayed diagnosis.
Unfortunately, the healthcare industry is saturated with misdiagnoses, causing thousands of patients to suffer every year. If you or a loved one received a wrong diagnosis, it’s important to exercise your legal rights and hold the medical professional accountable for their actions.
You can help prevent future misdiagnoses; let a medical malpractice lawyer on Long Island assist you in seeking justice.
Diagnostic errors run rampant in the American healthcare system. The Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality reports that around 12 million Americans are affected by missed or incorrect diagnoses each year.
Those errors may account for 40,000 to 80,000 preventable deaths in U.S. hospitals each year.
Not only is misdiagnosis itself common, but certain conditions are more commonly misdiagnosed than others. Cancer, infections, and vascular events (heart attacks and strokes) account for at least one-third of diagnostic errors and more than half of harm suffered as a result.
Misdiagnosis isn’t just an annoying inconvenience. For many Americans, it’s a life or death mistake. The stakes are high in healthcare, and you shouldn’t have to sacrifice your life to receive treatment for a condition.
If you suffered an injury or a loved one died as a result of misdiagnosis, trust our attorneys to fight for you and get you the closure and compensation you deserve. Call (631) 543-7070 now.
Common Reasons for Misdiagnosis
As a patient, you trust your doctor to identify and treat your ailment promptly and accurately. Physicians undergo decades of training and studying to treat patients to the best of their ability. Unfortunately, some doctors never follow through on this promise.
But why? According to an article from Health Leaders Media, there are five main reasons why misdiagnosis occurs:
- Poor communication – Patients’ information can easily slip through the cracks during transfers to other facilities, physicians, or departments.
- Lack of measures and feedback – Currently, there is no standardized measure for physicians to understand their performance, guide improvements, or report errors in the diagnostic process. They also rarely receive feedback concerning a changed or incorrect diagnosis.
- Limited resources and support for clinicians – Considering the hundreds, if not thousands of possibilities for any one symptom, clinicians need timely, efficient resources, such as lifelong learning programs to accurately diagnose patients.
- Limited time/time constraints – Physicians are often overworked. Demanding schedules imposed by hospitals or management systems lead to both physicians and patients reporting feeling rushed, which leads to a risk of incomplete patient history.
- Complicated diagnostic process – Patients are often in the dark about the questions they should ask, whom to follow up with, whom to notify if their condition changes, and other crucial pieces of information.
- Lack of funding for research – Comprehensive research of diagnostic errors has only recently come about, and there is a limited amount of published research into identifying what improves the diagnostic process.
Misdiagnosis is Devastating; Let Us Help
Some misdiagnoses are harmless because they’re not far off from what the patient actually has. In those cases, the wrong treatment likely wouldn’t cause serious effects. In other cases, however, patients suffer harm because they receive the wrong treatment. In the worst cases, patients die as a result of misdiagnosis.
These actions are more than just honest mistakes; often, misdiagnosis stems from physician negligence, which can cause devastating injury or even death. If you or a loved one suffered injury because your doctor diagnosed you with the wrong condition, you deserve answers and compensation for your losses.
The Long Island medical malpractice attorneys at Carner & DeVita have over 50 years of experience fighting for injured clients and holding negligent health professionals accountable.
Call us today at (631) 543-7070 to schedule a consultation.