Despite the marvels and accomplishments of modern medicine, about one in five autopsies has revealed that physicians failed to properly diagnose patients’ life-threatening conditions. While this fact is shocking in itself, what’s possibly more disturbing is that the Journal of the American Medical Association reported in an article entitled œNo Improvement! that this rate of misdiagnosis is the same as the rate of misdiagnosis that existed in 1930. The disparity between the perceived advancement of medicine and the unwavering rate of misdiagnosis can possibly be explained by the fact that new technologies have distracted medical professionals and the public from the tragedy of misdiagnosis.
While a misdiagnosis is dangerous because it can mean that patients receive the wrong treatments, it is also a serious problem because failure to promptly and properly treat a condition can allow it to further progress to a state that may be incurable when or if it is ultimately detected.
Reasons for Medical Misdiagnosis
Although some medical conditions may be improperly diagnosed due lack of symptoms (or very generals symptoms), in some cases, the following contributed to misdiagnosis:
- the complexity of the health care system itself
- the competency and training of medical professionals
- dysfunctional equipment
- failure to properly assess a patient’s medical history (e.g., for possible allergies, medications the patient is taking or has taken, etc.)
- inadequate staffing at hospitals
- inattention or distraction on the part of medical professionals
- poor communication between medical professionals
- the similarity between names of medications
Commonly Misdiagnosed Conditions
Some of the most commonly misdiagnosed conditions include:
- aortic dissention
- cancers (Breast and colorectal cancers are the two most commonly misdiagnosed cancers; experts contend that cancer misdiagnoses likely occur because physicians fail to adhere to cancer screening guidelines.)
- clogged arteries
- heart attack (Both patients and doctors can perceive the warning signs of a heart attack to be heartburn.)
- infections (A Harvard study reports that infection is the second most misdiagnosed condition following cancer).
If you suspect that you or a loved one has been victimized by a misdiagnosis, the medical malpractice attorneys at Chaffin Luhana welcome you to attend a complimentary initial consultation and learn more about your legal rights and receive an expert evaluation of their case. Those who have potential legal claims can get their case started at no upfront legal cost, as misdiagnosis lawyers work on a contingency basis.
You may be entitled to financial compensation, and Chaffin Luhana may be able to help you recover. Call our toll free number today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation: 1-888-480-1123.