How many times have you been sick or had something wrong with you but were scared that you would go to a doctor or the hospital, only to be misdiagnosed? It’s a pretty common to fear to have, and at times you might feel that you’re being overly paranoid. The terrible thing is, that fear is actually pretty valid, according to a new report.
The report was released by the Institute of Medicine this week and it’s called “Improving Diagnosis In Health Care.” The Institute also published a landmark report in 1999 that was titled ‘To Err is Human.’ It’s their most recent report that is getting people even more worried, however. The report is cracking open people’s perceptions about the capacity of medicine and revealing sobering statistics about just how likely the average person is to suffer as a result from medical errors in diagnosis.
This report states that the average person is likely to leave from the doctor’s with a diagnosis that is either wrong or late at least one time in their lifetime. Doesn’t exactly make you feel secure, does it? While these insights are certainly not reassuring, they are at the same time positive because they are revealing a major blind spot in the medical community that can now be addressed. It just may not make you feel better or have much of an impact if you yourself or someone you know is part of the statistic of the already affected. This can be terrifying as the results of these errors can lead to handicap, serious injury, severe illness, and death.
The problem ultimately was likely doctors asking the wrong questions or asking the right questions and diagnosing them incorrectly. Even when patients may think they have a certain issue (and actually can be right), but the doctor believes that the problem is something else and sends them on their way. Of course, if the issue is serious and needs to be treated, you can be walking out of those doors and straight to your death. Such was the case with a woman who believed she was having a heart attack but was sent away with a diagnosis of acid reflux. How many people are out there that haven’t been so lucky as she was when she came in again two weeks later to get surgery for what actually had been a heart attack?
The report stated that 44,000 to 98,000 people die in the United states in hospitals yearly thanks to medical errors. With estimates that millions will be diagnosed incorrectly this year, this number needs to be taken seriously. The error could be due to simple accidental misdiagnosis, or it could be the result of an obstinate doctor who refuses to listen to what his patients are saying. Regardless, five percent of the population likely to get an error in diagnosis is a huge amount. Not only that, but errors are likely to come up thanks to health care as well as a busier paced workplace with added pressure and patient load.
If you believe you have been misdiagnosed, contact The Law Offices of Payas, Payas, and Payas to speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney and see if you have a case.