1 in 20 adult patients receive inaccurate medical advice or care
A recent study conducted by BMJ Quality & Safety revealed an unsettling fact for medical patients across the country. According to their research, BMJ reports that more than 12 million Americans receive an incorrect diagnosis each year. Some of these have minor consequences, such as identifying an allergy as a cold, but in cases involving heart conditions, brain damage or cancer, among others, the results can be much more dire for the patient.
This amounts to about 5% of all patients receiving a misdiagnosis in a given year. This can seem like a small number and a minimal risk. However, as a patient seeking medical advice or care, the thought that one in 20 cases will be incorrectly diagnoses is troubling, especially for whoever is that one.
Part of the reason for this staggering number of mistakes each year is that BMJ’s research included outpatient clinics and doctor’s offices, in addition to the usual scrutiny that hospitals received in earlier studies. The paper analyzed results from studies focusing on primary care facilities, along with rates of colorectal and lung cancer screenings. Based on this data, the researchers used a mathematical formula and proportions of diagnostic errors to conclude that over 12 million patients are misdiagnosed each year.
With this new information, patients seeking any type of medical care need to be prepared for the possibility that their diagnosis is incorrect. Errors in testing procedures or equipment, misinterpretation by doctors and general negligence all put patients at risk of receiving information about their health that is simply incorrect, leading to inaction or the wrong course of treatment. This can put patient’s health at continued risk, or worse, do irreparable harm to their well being. In cases where someone adversely affected, that patient may be eligible for compensation, including coverage of future medical care.
The attorneys at Mallon & McCool, LLC, encourage any who has received misleading medical advice or improper treatments to seek out legal advice and representation to receive appropriate damages. Their lawyers understand the complexities of medical malpractice law and can help determine who was at fault and how best to prove your claim. Their law offices are located at 300 East Lombard Street in Baltimore, Maryland. For skilled legal representation, contact the office at (410)-727-7887, or toll free at (800) 918-8872.