Misdiagnoses, or diagnoses that were incorrect or delayed, account for 10-20% of medical malpractice cases. While issues such as anesthesia and surgical errors have gained far more media attention, they occur less frequently than misdiagnosis, which can be equally detrimental to the patient involved.

Statistics on Misdiagnosis Cases

A misdiagnosis is more than just an inconvenience to the patient, but the unfortunate truth is that many patients are told to downplay their injury and pain after their condition was misdiagnosed. A misdiagnosis can not only lead to longer treatment time, but it can substantially increase a patient’s medical bills, further complicate their condition, and even lead to death.

The Federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality funded a 2009 report on misdiagnosis cases. Here are a few of the statistics that came from their report:

  • 28% of 583 diagnostic mistakes were life-threatening or had resulted in death or permanent disability
  • Out of 583 cases under consideration, 28% were considered major, 41% were considered moderate, and 31% were considered minor or insignificant.
  • The most common misdiagnoses were pulmonary embolism (4.5%), drug reactions or overdose (4.5%), lung cancer (3.9%), colorectal cancer (3.3%), acute coronary syndrome (3.1%), breast cancer (3.1%), and stroke (2.6%).
  • Errors occurred most frequently in the testing phase (44%), followed by clinician assessment errors (32%), history taking (10%), physical examination (10%), and referral or consultation errors (3%).

This last statistic is interesting, because it shows that the majority of the cases that resulted in misdiagnosis were directly impacted by the doctor or nurse assisting the patient. Less than 3% of misdiagnoses were credited to the medical staff receiving the wrong information.

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Implications of a Misdiagnosis

As a patient, there can be few things more frustrating than a misdiagnosis. After all, even a minor health condition that requires a doctor’s visit often requires the patient to take off work, rearrange his or her  schedule, and make a co-payment. When that visit results in a misdiagnosis, the patient has to start all over, and the condition can often be worsened due to the misdiagnosis.

Another key problem in the medical field is a failure to diagnose. Many patients can attest to this problem as well. What often happens is that a doctor may be trying to avoid a misdiagnosis and, as a result fails to diagnose a serious condition, even when the doctor's best judgment tells them to do so.

If you were trying to be proactive about your health only to be harmed by the misdiagnosis your doctor made (or by your doctor’s failure to diagnose), you have options. Receiving compensation may be a long road, especially when insurance companies and medical staff don’t validate what you’ve been through. Contact our team of attorneys for a free, no obligation consultation to learn your options.

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Misdiagnosis Attorneys in Mansfield, OH

Rinehardt Law Firm is the answer to your personal injury needs. Our team of attorneys and case managers have represented clients in in Mansfield and throughout central and north central Ohio for years. We treat every new client as if he or she were part of our family by providing clear communication, building a strong relationship, and using our experience to provide legal guidance that’s in his of her best interests. We offer free consultations with no obligation, so don’t hesitate to contact our team about your legal matter.