When you go to the doctor with an unknown medical issue, you expect your doctor to do all he or she can to figure out what is wrong. If you are suffering from an unknown medical condition, it can be very difficult and frustrating to not know what is wrong. When your doctor does diagnose your condition, you probably believe them whole-heartedly. Unfortunately, a new study found that misdiagnosis is very common at the doctor’s office.
The study found that an estimated 12 million adult patients are misdiagnosed in doctors’ offices every year in the country. Worse, the researchers said that 50 percent of misdiagnoses may be very dangerous for a patient’s health.
The researchers said the finding that many patients are misdiagnosed is a serious patient safety issue, and that they will have to continue researching to see what steps can be taken to address and prevent diagnostic errors.
Misdiagnosis is a very serious issue as it can lead to a patient taking the wrong medication or having the wrong medical procedure performed. Misdiagnosis can also mean a patient isn’t getting any treatment at all when they may actually need a lifesaving medical procedure or medication to prevent further complications or death.
Patients who have been misdiagnosed may end up having a delay in diagnosis that could lead to serious complications. A delay in a cancer diagnosis could result in devastating consequences along with a misdiagnosis of several other serious medical conditions.
Patients in Arizona who have been misdiagnosed or have been victims of other diagnostic errors should know they can pursue legal action against their doctor and medical facility for their mistakes. Finding out the doctor screwed up your medical diagnosis can cause a variety of emotions. Patients who suffered severe complications due to the medical error may want to consult an attorney to file a lawsuit against the doctor responsible for the mistake.
Source: Reuters, “About 12 million U.S. outpatients misdiagnosed annually: study,” Curtis Skinner, April 17, 2014