In New York and Pennsylvania, people who are having a medical issue or simply want to maintain their health will trust medical professionals to care for them. Part of the physician’s responsibility is diagnosing a patient accurately.
However, mistakes are often made and it can cause a litany of problems. People can even be permanently disabled or lose their lives. Researchers keep track of how many people are injured, become ill and lose their lives because of misdiagnosis.
A recent study gave worrisome results as to its frequency. People need to consider this if they believe they or a loved one were confronted with a medical mistake.
Researchers say close to 800,000 are harmed by diagnostic mistakes
Johns Hopkins University researchers found that an estimated 424,000 people are disabled and 371,000 people lose their lives because of misdiagnosis. Close to four out of every 10 misdiagnosed medical problems were blood clots in the veins, stroke, lung cancer, pneumonia and sepsis.
These are not the most frequent issues that lead to a misdiagnosis, but when they are misdiagnosed, they often have poor outcomes. This is particularly true with strokes. The diagnosis is inaccurate around 18% of the time. With nearly one million people suffering a stroke every year, this can lead to many avoidable long-term consequences.
When there are diagnostic errors, it is believed to be due to medical professionals thinking some symptoms are evidence of a less severe medical concern. Less common symptoms for stroke and heart attack could lead to a misdiagnosis.
For example, slurred words and weakness on one side of the body are obvious signs of a stroke, but so too is a headache and dizziness. If physicians are unfamiliar with a patient’s medical history beyond the immediate symptoms, then it can result in missing signs that would otherwise be clearer.
If medical malpractice is suspected, it must be investigated
It can be hard for a person and their family to recognize when they have been harmed by a misdiagnosis or any other form or medical malpractice. If there is even a minor suspicion that a physician or other medical professional made a mistake, the ramifications can be extensive and deadly.
People can suffer a worsened condition, face illnesses they would not have had they been accurately diagnosed and lose their lives. This can happen to anyone regardless of their health and it is vital to know what options are available. Seeking help from those with extensive experience in investigating medical mistakes and moving forward is key to recovering all that was lost.