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Misdiagnosis Crisis In The US

According to a study at Johns Hopkinsover 795,000 patients in the United States become permanently disabled or die each year due to medical misdiagnosis. Misdiagnosis happens within all aspects of the healthcare industry, not just at the family doctor.

diagnosis mistakes cause disability and death

Are Common Symptoms To Blame?

According to the Johns Hopkins study, doctors and care providers often misdiagnose an illness when the symptoms are common to other health issues. Many times, additional questions or testing can identify the actual problem.

Misdiagnosis Is Dangerous

Misdiagnosis can lead to the wrong treatment or delays in lifesaving care. According to the study, health problems are misdiagnosed at different rates. Only 1.5% of heart attacks are incorrectly diagnosed, but 62% of spinal abscesses are misdiagnosed.

Strokes that are misdiagnosed are the most serious problem for patients and their families. In all the data for this study, strokes are misdiagnosed almost 20% of the time. Roughly 1 in 5 stroke sufferers are misdiagnosed. Many doctors are not properly trained to identify milder stroke symptoms, leading to greater patient harm.

In the study of this data, Johns Hopkins found that 5 health problems were commonly misdiagnosed, causing death or permanent disability in patients. The 5 commonly misdiagnosed health problems are:

  • stroke
  • sepsis
  • pneumonia
  • blood clots
  • lung cancer

When health professionals delay diagnosis or misdiagnose the above conditions, the patient can suffer irreparable harm.

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Delays And Misdiagnosis Cause Harm

A delay in the correct care or treatment can cause harm. This is especially harmful when a patient is experiencing sepsis, blood clots, stroke, or other life-threatening health problems. A delay can cause irreparable harm to the patient.

Common Causes Of Misdiagnosis

Several specific factors are common in the misdiagnosis of patients. One or more of the following factors can cause misdiagnosis of a patient.

  • improper testing
  • diagnostic errors
  • inexperience
  • insufficient time with the patient
  • overconfidence
  • delayed diagnosis
  • failure to recognize complications
  • miscommunication between medical providers

When Misdiagnosis Is Malpractice?

Is a medical misdiagnosis also medical malpractice? Medical malpractice is a combination of a breach of care standards and actual harm to the patient. Click to learn more about medical malpractice lawsuits.

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When To Contact A Medical Malpractice Attorney

If you believe you meet the criteria for a medical malpractice claim, you should talk to an experienced attorney. Additionally, if you have any questions about your specific situation an attorney may be able to help.

Medical Malpractice Attorney Near Me

Haggerty Silverman & Justice has been helping injured people since 1990. Our attorneys are licensed to practice in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland. If you have questions about a medical malpractice claim, contact us for a free consultation.