Misdiagnosis – Could it Happen to You?

misdiagnosisThat misdiagnosis happens in medical care is widely known, and for the obvious reason – it happens way too often.  You can be the victim of an erroneous diagnosis whether you are at a well-known major medical center or a small local medical facility – it happens in all age groups, at any socioeconomic level, and with numerous diseases or conditions.  Misdiagnosis can never be viewed as a minor or trivial matter, as even seemingly minor errors in diagnosing can have serious repercussions.

Although many would say that misdiagnosis is common, it can be difficult to obtain accurate data to prove that a misdiagnosis occurred.   Many cases are missed – even those that end in medically morbid outcomes, or even death.  Data show ranges from 1.4% misdiagnoses in cancer biopsies up and to a 20-40% misdiagnosis range in areas such as Intensive Care Units or Emergency Rooms.  In the Emergency Room in particular, misdiagnosis is often associated with delayed treatment, which can victimize patients with conditions such as myocardial infarction, stroke, appendicitis, pulmonary embolism, and meningitis.  Insult can be added to injury if the missed diagnosis victim is subjected to the wrong treatment, which could not only delay therapeutic treatment, but also create more problems for the victim, thus delaying or even negating a therapeutic outcome.

We could logically believe that with all the advances we have made in modern medicine, and all the many tools such as MRIs, endoscopes, lab tests, etc., with which we can diagnose conditions, that the incidence of misdiagnosis would have decreased.  Not so, according to many studies.  In fact, some believe there has been no change in the rate of misdiagnosis since the 1930s! Studies of autopsies have shown us that up to 20% of those with fatal illnesses have been misdiagnosed – an alarming statistic for a country in which one sixth of the economy goes into health care.

The missing links leading to misdiagnosis can be found by an expert in the field of complex medical malpractice, and many would say this may have to be the platform for getting the rate of misdiagnosis decreased.  No one has to stay a helpless victim – deserved reparations can be attained through the services of a qualified expert in the field of complex medical malpractice. Stephen L. Grimm, Grand Rapids Medical Malpractice Attorney, an acknowledged expert in this field, can help – as it could be you.

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