How Medical Misdiagnosis Could Affect You

How Medical Misdiagnosis Could Affect You

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 unstable reasons.

Misdiagnosis Statistics in the United States

Research shows that about 12 million Americans suffer some form of misdiagnosis every year - that's one out of every 20 patients who seek outpatient care in the U.S. annually.

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:

  1. Explain your medical history to the physician in a concise and chronological way.
  2. Share all details of your family's medical history (EX: a parent with cancer).
  3. Follow up and make sure you receive any test results.
  4. 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.

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