A misdiagnosis is a serious issue that delays treatment of a health problem, while possibly causing doctors to “treat” a condition that does not exist. This incorrect treatment, or a simple lack of treatment, can prove devastating for a patient. For instance, a misdiagnosis of skin cancer as a simple rash can allow a very treatable type of cancer to spread to other parts of the body, making treatment far harder and perhaps impossible.
Considering how detrimental this type of mistake is, doctors are expected to work hard to avoid it. This does not mean that they must be perfect in all cases, but that they seek to limit mistakes and offer high-level care to each patient. A misdiagnosis due to some type of negligence on the doctor’s part creates a “never event” — it’s the type of care a patient should never get.
Despite this, some reports claim that as many as 12 million adults see the doctor and get an incorrect diagnosis. That’s an annual report, so the 12 million — as significant as they are on their own — will stack up quickly in just a few years. The sheer amount of missed issues and incorrect determinations about significant health issues is alarming.
It should be noted that most misdiagnosis cases involve relatively minor health issues. However, the issues are serious in 10-20% of these cases. That is still from 1.2-2.4 million mistakes every year that impact people with serious health issues that could even threaten their lives.
Did your doctor make a mistake that put you into this category? If you did not get the level of care you expected and deserved, you must know all of the legal options that you have at your disposal.