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The effects of misdiagnosis of medical conditions

On Behalf of | Jul 18, 2020 | Misdiagnosis

80,000 people die per year in the U.S. due to the wrong diagnosis of their condition, and 34% of medical malpractice cases resulting in death or permanent disability are caused by misdiagnosis.

A study carried out by the John Hopkins University found the most common illnesses misdiagnosed include:

  • Cancer: 8%
  • Vascular issues: 8%
  • Infections: 5%

A misdiagnosis of any kind may lead to the implementation of incorrect treatment, as well as the worsening of a patient’s condition.

How do you prove misdiagnosis?

To claim for misdiagnosis, you need to establish the person you are claiming against had a professional duty of care toward you. You also need to prove their misdiagnosis caused you harm.

For instance, misdiagnosing a cancerous lump could allow it to spread and require extensive chemotherapy treatment. If the doctor had correctly diagnosed it earlier, they could have removed it before it led to further damage.

A misdiagnosis can also lead to prescribing the wrong drugs. Most drugs have side effects, and inappropriate drugs could aggravate your condition, or harm you in other ways.

Other factors that could lead to misdiagnosis

Misdiagnosis is not always the doctor’s fault and may have been caused by the following:

  • Faulty testing equipment: This could be a manufacturer error or down to inadequate maintenance.
  • Problems with chemical tests: Chemical tests carried out could have problems with the substances used. This could be traced back to the company providing the tests or improper storage of these tests.
  • Human error by test analysts: The people analyzing the data and recording the results can also make mistakes leading to a misdiagnosis. Medical records or results could additionally be confused with those of another patient.

If a doctor has misdiagnosed your condition or that of a loved one, it is essential to seek legal advice to help you receive the justice and compensation you deserve.