Data analyzed from several different studies reveals that one in 20 U.S. patients receives an initial misdiagnosis. That adds up to at least 12 million people who go to the doctor’s office or some other medical facility for medical treatment each year that are misdiagnosed. Additionally, half of those medical errors are potentially deadly ones, such as a misdiagnosis and delay of treatment for an illness like cancer.
The analysis was conducted by a team of researchers from Baylor College of Medicine. The team pointed out in their analysis that the majority of studies focus on reducing and eliminating medical errors and incorrect diagnosis in hospital settings, but that the majority of patient diagnosis are first made in an outpatient setting.
For this report, they used data that had been collected for three other studies. One of the studies focused on primary care misdiagnosis, and the other two studies focused on diagnostic errors made in patients with cancer.
One of the most important things a person can do to help prevent a misdiagnosis is to be proactive when it comes to their medical care. It is important to share with your doctor information regarding any medications you may be taking, both prescribed and over-the-counter. You should also share with your doctor any issues or problems that may be occurring. If your doctor tells you something that you do not understand, it is important to let him or her know. Do not be afraid to ask your doctor questions about your condition or treatment. Never be afraid to get a second opinion if you do not feel confident in the diagnosis.
If you or a member of your family has suffered from adverse effects due to the misdiagnosis or negligence of a medical professional, contact an experienced New Braunfels personal injury attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have.