When it comes to the way a person lives and the quality of a person’s
life, there is no greater importance than health. For this reason, many
people visit their physician regularly, ensuring that not only are they
living a good life, but that they are healthy from the inside out.
As a result, physicians play an important role in the way people view themselves,
the way people take care of themselves, and in some cases, the way a person
plans the remainder of their life. Unfortunately, a common error in the
medical field is
misdiagnosis, leaving many people scared, unaware, or altering their lifestyles for
Misdiagnosis Statistics in the United States
Research shows that about 12 million Americans suffer some form of misdiagnosis
- that's one out of every 20 patients who seek outpatient care in the
From these statistics, research has calculated that
about half of diagnostic errors have the potential to lead to severe harm. The differences in medical diagnoses range.
The three different categories of medical diagnosis are:
False Positive: Misdiagnosis of a disease that does not actually exist in the patient
False Negative: The failure to diagnose a disease that actually is present in the patient
Equivocal results: A questionable interpretation without a definite diagnosis
Unfortunately, these types of misdiagnoses determine the quality of care
the patients may receive. For example, a person with a false positive
diagnosis might receive radiation treatments for a cancer that they do
not actually of have. Because of the severity of such a treatment, the
patient can actually suffer much more than if the proper procedures were
performed for the patient’s correct diagnosis. Another example would
be a person suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease who is told no disease
exists in his/her body when it does. This person might continue his/her
life without knowing how to plan for his/her family during the tough times
that may occur for the patient and his/her family.
How Can I Know My Test Results are Accurate?
Doctors advise that patients perform a number of things, during an appointment
with a physician, to ensure their test results are as accurate as possible.
Here is a list of things you can do when speaking with a physician:
- Explain your medical history to the physician in a concise and chronological way.
- Share all details of your family's medical history (EX: a parent with cancer).
- Follow up and make sure you receive any test results.
- If you still question the accuracy of a test result or diagnosis, get a
second opinion from a physician.
By taking the necessary steps, as a patient, you are less likely to be
a patient that suffers from a misdiagnosis. It is important to keep in
mind that physicians see ample amounts of patients on a weekly basis.
Like any person, a physician may forget to contact a patient if anything
seems questionable or suspicious in a patient. For extra safety precautions,
always ask questions and do not hesitate to ask that more tests be run if you are unconvinced
of a certain diagnosis.
What If I think I Have Been Misdiagnosed?
If you feel that a physician has misdiagnosed you or a loved one, it is
important that you seek medical attention immediately. Do not wait to
do so. When it comes to health, every minute of every day is important.
The Springfield personal injury lawyers at Strong-Garner-Bauer P.C. understand
the severity of misdiagnoses, and the hardships that come with them, and
are here to help their clients through each case. They fight to make sure
that their clients are taken care of through the entire process and relentlessly
fight for maximum compensation. For a
free case evaluation, call the firm’s personal injury attorneys at (417) 344-0705.