If a doctor misdiagnoses a patient it’s a slippery slope of subsequent errors. Based on a doctor’s misdiagnosis the patient will not receive the proper care and treatment needed for their current condition. In many cases, a misdiagnosis can lead to prescriptions of medications that the patient does not actually need. In other cases, because of a doctor’s misdiagnosis a patient may not obtain the necessary subsequent care needed such as radiological studies or lab work to properly diagnose their actual condition.
The National Practitioner Data Bank records actions taken by state licensing authorities against health care practitioners. By reviewing the information contained in these records, researchers have found that 28.6 percent of medical malpractice payments were for diagnostic mistakes made by the health care practitioners.
Errors by health care practitioners related to treatment and surgery were second and third most common, but a health care practitioner’s misdiagnosis of a patient was first on the list.
Timely treatment is important for many medical conditions and if a health care practitioner misdiagnoses a patient that becomes part of the patient’s chart and will mislead all subsequent providers as well when they take a look at and review that patient’s medical history.
BMJ Quality and Safety published an online study and their researchers analyzed 350,706 paid medical malpractice claims.
Diagnostic errors by health care providers were the leading type of claims that were paid accounting for 28.6% of the claims paid out. The most frequent outcomes of these claims were death, significant permanent injury, major permanent injury and minor permanent injury.
Diagnosis errors cause up to 160,000 deaths annually in the USA – making diagnostic errors one of the most dangerous and expensive mistakes made by American doctors, estimated to cause between 80,000 and 160,000 deaths every year, Johns Hopkins researchers reported in BMJ Quality and Safety (April 2013 issue)
If you suspect that you may have been misdiagnosed by a healthcare provider, seek the opinion of another physician. It’s important to be sure your condition has been properly diagnosed and that you are receiving the proper medical treatment.
The lawyers at Halberg & Fogg PLLC have assisted individuals and families that have been injured as a result of medical malpractice for over 40 years. If you or a loved one has been injured, it is important to contact a qualified and knowledgeable attorney who can help you, and your family, recover the compensation that you deserve. The lawyers at Halberg & Fogg PLLC. have years of experience handling these types of cases and are willing to speak to you at any time for a free consultation.