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How common is medical misdiagnosis?

On Behalf of | Apr 11, 2022 | Medical Malpractice

Most people trust their doctor. But the sad reality is that these medical professionals oftentimes fail to provide their patients with the proper standard of care. When this happens, serious and oftentimes irreversible harm is caused.

Medical misdiagnosis is more common than you think

Nowhere is this more prevalent than in the rate of medical misdiagnosis. According to some studies, upwards of 12 million people are affected by misdiagnosis every year. Somewhere between 40,000 and 80,000 people die as a result of these misdiagnoses. Women and minority populations are more likely to be affected by these diagnostic errors. These statistics are nothing short of staggering.

How does misdiagnosis occur?

Sadly, there are a lot of ways that misdiagnosis and missed diagnosis can occur. To start, a doctor may simply fail to order appropriate testing to confirm whether a certain medical condition exists. In other instances, a doctor orders proper testing but misreads the results. Either situation is unacceptable, especially given that these misdiagnoses are often of easily detectible conditions and doctors tend to have the proper education and resources to allow them to accurately diagnose their patients.

How the medical profession is responding

The medical profession is taking active steps to try to curb the harm caused by misdiagnoses and missed diagnoses. This includes increasing teamwork as well as improving education for medical professionals and establishing better reporting systems. But significant improvements have yet to be seen.

Seek out advice

Although these are valiant efforts, the fact of the matter is that they don’t do anything for those who have already been affected by these medical errors. That’s why victims of misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis often want accountability and compensation for the harm that has been caused to them. An attorney who is experienced in medical malpractice cases may be able to help these victims develop the compelling legal arguments that they need on their side to achieve those goals, which is why now may be the time for you to reach out to an attorney of your choosing to discuss your case.