You rely on healthcare providers to put your interests first and to provide you with the answers you need. However, if doctors ignore symptoms or do not order the necessary tests, they may diagnose you with a condition that you do not, in fact, have or fail to diagnose you entirely. How common is misdiagnosis in American Hospitals?
How common is misdiagnosis?
According to Healthline, medical diagnosis errors are very common, with millions of people suffering from misdiagnosis every year. Moreover, women and minorities experience misdiagnosis between 20% and 30% more often. This misdiagnosis leads to between 40,000 and 80,000 people passing away each year.
What damage can misdiagnosis do?
Misdiagnosis can have significant medical consequences for patients, including:
- Delaying correct diagnosis and treatment, leaving your condition untreated and potentially causing it to grow worse
- Treating the wrong condition, exposing you to unnecessary and potentially harmful medication
- Potentially irrevocable injury or wrongful death.
In addition to the impact that misdiagnosis can have on patients’ health, the struggle to find the right diagnosis and have their condition treated can put them under incredible emotional strain.
What can victims of misdiagnosis do to protect their rights?
If your doctor failed to uphold their duty to you as a patient and caused you harm as a result, you may be able to take legal action against them. Not only will this hold your doctor responsible for the way that their misdiagnosis caused you harm, it can also help you get the support you need to recover.