Medical errors ranked as the third leading cause of death across the United States, according to The BMJ, one of the oldest and most highly regarded peer-reviewed medical journals in the world. One of the more commonplace types of medical negligence or medical malpractice in North Carolina and around the country is the failure to diagnose an ailment accurately or in a timely manner.
Data regarding failure to properly diagnose patients
Misdiagnosing a patient, a failure to diagnose a patient in a timely manner or a failure to diagnose a patient completely can all result in devastating consequences. The matter of medical misdiagnoses continues to be the focus of a growing number of research studies.
A recent study was released by the Institute of Medicine, and it is aptly entitled “Improving Diagnosis in Healthcare”. According to the IOM study, about 12 million people in the United States seeking outpatient medical care experience some type of misdiagnosis or diagnostic error.
John Hopkins University School of Medicine has also studied patient misdiagnoses. Its study revealed that one out of 71 cancer patient cases was misdiagnosed in the U.S. A shocking one out of five cancers were misclassified, another form of misdiagnosis. These types of egregious medical errors resulted in delayed or inappropriate patient care and treatment.
Catastrophic consequences of a failure to diagnose
A failure to diagnose in a timely or proper manner can have catastrophic consequences. A patient can face more severe health problems, significantly increased pain, and an added financial burden because of a physician’s failure to diagnose a disease, condition or other medical issue in an appropriate manner.
Not only must you protect your health in the aftermath of a failure to diagnose, but you also need to safeguard your legal rights as well. Consulting with a medical malpractice attorney is an advisable course of action.