There are few things more stressful than knowing something is wrong with your health, but being unable to get an answer. You do all the tests the doctor asks for, and then you wait for your results. Sometimes it seems like the waiting is the hardest part, but there is something much more difficult awaiting many Americans. The specter of the improper diagnosis.
When we meet with our doctor and he tells us what is wrong with us, we take for granted that he is right. He is the expert after all. But the more and more we learn about physician diagnosis, the more we learn how often it goes wrong. Doctors frequently make major errors that drastically affect quality of life for their patients.
NPR has issued a report drawing attention to just how often doctors fail to make the proper diagnosis. This problem has plagued the medical field for years, but little has been done to determine just how common the problem is. Now, we know.
According to the report:
- There are few if any Americans who will not experience at least one significant diagnostic issue in their lifetime
- Diagnostic issues (including misdiagnosis and significant delay in diagnosis) account for one out of every ten patient deaths
- Routine diagnoses are missed at nearly the same rate as more rare diseases
These facts are extremely sobering. When one out of every ten patient deaths is attributable to error by the doctor, our healthcare system is compromised. And this only accounts for misdiagnoses that are discovered and reported. It is impossible to believe that all improper diagnoses are being caught.
If you or someone you love has suffered due to a missed or delayed diagnosis, you know how difficult it is to live with the knowledge that things could have been better. You didn’t need to suffer, if the doctor had just done their job and figured out what was really wrong with you. Please contact an attorney to help you hold the doctor to account for their actions, and help prevent other people from suffering due to a misdiagnosis.