Tennesseans with medical ailments typically seek treatment. When they do, they rely on the expertise of medical professionals to identify their condition. However, not every diagnosis they make is accurate. When this happens, it can create significant adversity for patients and their loved ones.
Sadly, an estimated 100,000 Americans die or are permanently disabled by inaccurate or delayed medical diagnoses every year.
Why medical professionals may misdiagnose
While many conditions can be extremely tricky to identify, doctors can still make negligent conclusions. A common reason for misdiagnosis is due to judgment errors. Such errors can include forgetting to order a diagnostic test, failing to evaluate symptoms or misinterpreting test results.
The type of misdiagnosis also depends on where it was made. For example, cancer misdiagnoses are more likely to occur in an outpatient clinic; infections and vascular-related problems were more likely to take place in emergency centers.
Commonly misclassified medical conditions
Due to these circumstances, researchers at John Hopkins University have identified several conditions at high risk for misdiagnosis:
- Sepsis (a type of blood infection)
- Lung cancer
- Heart attack
- Severe blood clots
- Meningitis (inflammation of the brain)
- Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain caused by a viral infection)
Patients need to advocate for themselves
It’s nearly impossible for medical professionals to be completely accurate. But for patients who receive an incorrect diagnosis, it can be a matter of life and death. A diligent legal professional in East Tennessee can help recover costs to ease their client’s suffering.