Though people often trust them to be, doctors are not perfect. They do make mistakes, and some of these can lead to death or serious injuries. One of the most common mistakes, according to a study that was carried out by researchers working at Johns Hopkins University, is coming up with the wrong diagnosis.
Often, this means improper steps are taken so that illnesses and ailments are not treated correctly. Other times, it means the treatments are delayed so long that preventable damage has already been done.
There are many examples of this, including a misdiagnosis for cancer. A doctor may not believe a patient has cancer at all, instead giving him or her medication for more common ailments. This allows the cancer to spread unchecked until it becomes more obvious. Some cancers can be cured rather quickly if treatment happens immediately, but they can become fatal if it takes to long.
Another example is a misdiagnosis of a ruptured appendix. A doctor may believe that the person just has cramps or a kidney stone. If the patient does not report a high enough pain level, the doctor may assume it can’t be appendicitis, when the reality is that the patient just has a high pain tolerance. Missing this diagnosis could cause the appendix to burst, which can be fatal, when routine surgery beforehand could have easily saved the person’s life.
The researchers think that issues like this impact as many as 160,000 Americans each and every year. If this has happened to you in New York, you may be able to seek compensation.
Source: Wall Street Journal, “The Biggest Mistake Doctors Make,” Laura Landro, accessed Aug. 07, 2015