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How Common Is Failure To Diagnose?

| Sep 18, 2017 | Blog |

No one likes going to the doctor, but those who do are usually in a better position to get well than those who ignore their symptoms to avoid a visit. When someone’s health is in jeopardy, people hope and trust that seeing their doctor will not only provide answers, but lead them on the path to feeling better. They expect their doctor to ask questions, listen intently to their symptoms and complete a thorough examination to arrive at an accurate diagnosis.

An accurate diagnosis is key to getting the treatment for illnesses, diseases and other health problems that can be cured. Left untreated, commonly misdiagnosed diseases can lead to a serious decline in health or even death.

Illnesses And Diseases That Doctors Frequently Fail To Diagnose Or Misdiagnose

  • Stroke
  • Lyme disease
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Kidney disease
  • Stroke

How Often Does A Doctor Make A Mistake With A Diagnosis?

Recent research echoes other results from diagnostic error studies, which show that there is a need to improve health care systems. When researchers examined patients who had asked for a second opinion at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., they found that more than 20 percent of the patients had a doctor who had originally misdiagnosed their condition.

If that number sounds alarming, the impact of a misdiagnosis also is frightening. Other studies have found that a misdiagnosis plays a role in about 10 percent of patient deaths. In some cases, patients or their family members may have cause for a medical malpractice claim.

Experts recommend getting a second opinion for individuals who want to be sure of a diagnosis before moving forward with a treatment.

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