New Study Finds Two-Thirds of First Diagnoses Are Incorrect
When most people get sick or suffer an injury, they go to a doctor who diagnoses them and prescribes treatment to make them better. Unfortunately, this process isn’t always straightforward and simple. According to a new study from the Mayo Clinic, two-thirds of first diagnoses are either partially incorrect or completely incorrect. Many victims of misdiagnosis will need the help of misdiagnosis attorneys to seek compensation for injuries.
A Second Opinion Matters
Many people seek second opinions just to be cautious and prudent with their treatment. However, according to the Mayo Clinic, a second opinion may be absolutely necessary. The study looked at 300 different patients and their medical histories, and discovered 66% of the patients in the study received at least a partially incorrect first diagnosis. These patients received a refined or extended diagnosis from a second opinion.
Additionally, an astonishing 21% of patients in the study had a completely different diagnosis from a second physician than the original diagnosis. This means only 13% of patients in the study received a completely correct diagnosis the first time around. Patients are often referred to the Mayo Clinic because they present with symptoms that are difficult to diagnose, so the study from the Mayo Clinic represents a very high end of the misdiagnosis spectrum.
Other studies have also found a high number of misdiagnoses and the dangers associated with them. According to a study published in BMJ Quality and Safety, one out of every 20 adults will experience a complete misdiagnosis. This accounts for 12 million Americans each year. For half of these patients, the misdiagnosis has the potential to cause life-threatening complications.
While some conditions are more difficult to diagnose than others, so many incorrect diagnoses can really impact a patient’s prognosis. In some instances, an incorrect diagnosis or a failure to diagnose a patient can be blatantly negligent and even lead to wrongful death.
Patients have a right to be informed about their medical care. A misdiagnosis can be incredibly frustrating, and many patients have difficulty understanding how the misdiagnosis happened because physicians and hospitals aren’t always forthcoming with information about their own mistakes. If you have suffered an injury as the result of a misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose, the experienced misdiagnosis attorneys at Lopez McHugh LLP can help. We can obtain medical records and help you understand what went wrong. We work on a contingency fee basis so there is no upfront cost for working with us and you won’t owe us anything unless we help you obtain compensation. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.