How common is misdiagnosis when a patient needs care?

When you have concerning symptoms, you will likely go see a doctor to find out what is wrong. If the symptoms are moderate, you might make an appointment with your primary care physician. In more severe situations, you may instead go to an urgent care facility or an emergency room.

Whether you see your family doctor who you have known for years or a total stranger at the hospital, you should be able to trust in their ability to diagnose you after hearing about your symptoms. Even if they don’t know exactly what caused the issue, they can order tests that can help get to the root of the issue.

Unfortunately, many Americans don’t get an accurate diagnosis when they require medical care. Diagnostic mistakes by their physicians can lead to delays in treatment or possibly in someone receiving completely unnecessary medical interventions.

Misdiagnosis is a common form of medical malpractice

With all the training doctors have to help them diagnose patients, you might assume that diagnostic errors are quite rare. However, statistics paint a different picture. Researchers estimate that diagnostic mistakes claim anywhere from 40,000 to 80,000 lives every year just in the United States, and there are roughly 12 million people who have to deal with the medical consequences of a delayed or inaccurate diagnosis.

The more serious the condition is, the more likely it is that a delayed or incorrect diagnosis can have adverse medical consequences. A delay of a few months could be the difference between someone achieving remission or dying of cancer.

Taking action when medical malpractice affects your family can help you recoup some of the losses you have suffered.