HARRIS POWERS & CUNNINGHAM

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Information on misdiagnoses

On Behalf of | Aug 23, 2014 | Medical Malpractice

Arizona medical patients may place complete trust in physicians when it comes to diagnosing medical disorders. Mistakes in diagnostics, known as misdiagnoses, are defined as delays in, missed or wrong diagnoses.

While it is true that many doctors are skilled and highly trained, there is still a chance that they might make a mistake. According to experts, rates of misdiagnosis are down compared to what they once were, but misdiagnosis still presents itself as a major problem. Though it is difficult to determine the rates of misdiagnosis, some experts estimate that about 10 percent of cases are misdiagnosed.

A study conducted in 2009 discovered that some conditions are misdiagnosed more than others are. The two most commonly misdiagnosed conditions are drug overdoses and reactions and pulmonary embolisms. These issues account for about 4.5 percent of all misdiagnoses each. In addition to those, lung cancer, colorectal cancer and acute coronary syndrome are the top five most commonly misdiagnosed conditions.

In some cases, a misdiagnosis leads to severe complications, which can cause financial hardships as well as a diminishing of life quality. When a physician’s error leads to medical and financial difficulty, the patient may wish to pursue a settlement in order to help cover medical costs, lost wages and other damages that are allowable under state law. It may be helpful for the patient to consult with a lawyer who has experience in medical malpractice cases because an experienced lawyer may be able to advise the patient on whether the pursuit of a settlement is feasible given the circumstances. That lawyer could review the incident and might develop a case that demonstrates that physician’s liability.

Source: Med Page Today, “Misdiagnosis: Can It Be Remedied?“, Joyce Frieden, August 15, 2014

Source: Med Page Today, “Misdiagnosis: Can It Be Remedied?“, Joyce Frieden, August 15, 2014

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