Diagnostic errors can result in a person getting treatments he or she doesn't need or not receiving the treatment that's required to prevent the spread of disease. As a patient who has suffered because of diagnostic errors, you know the importance of medical providers doing everything they can to give you the correct diagnosis. Not doing so can result in terminal illnesses or other complications.
The number of people suffering from misdiagnoses in the United States is estimated to be between 80,000 and 160,000. These individuals suffer from delayed treatments, receiving the wrong treatments or being treated for something they don't have. Some never receive treatment and suffer with an undiagnosed illness.
Inpatient diagnostic errors are more likely to be lethal than outpatient errors at 48.4 percent versus 36.9 percent. In most of the cases, the errors made resulted in missed diagnoses, not misdiagnoses or delayed diagnoses.
How can providers help guarantee a patient's diagnosis?
To start with, the right tests have to be run. Blood work, CT scans and other testing may be necessary to rule out conditions and to identify the correct treatment plan. If a provider does not ask for the correct tests, then a patient may suffer as a result. Patients can help themselves by seeking out second opinions and being persistent if they don't feel their needs are being met.
Medical errors can result in injuries and deaths. If you're hurt or lose a loved one in this way, you don't have to face this alone. Our website has more on what you can do to get compensated.