Medical doctors have a great deal of responsibility placed upon them. After years of training and practice, they are expected to have the skill and ability to identify symptoms and translate that into a diagnosis. That doesn’t always happen and the rates of medical misdiagnosis are happening at an alarming rate.
A study conducted by Baylor University last year indicated that up to 5% of patients are misdiagnosed every year. That’s roughly 12 million patients leaving their physicians office with bad information and inappropriate medication. Not only does this leave the medical condition untreated, it can create additional medical problems for the patient.
“The number of patients being misdiagnosed is quite alarming. Patients rely on the advice and expertise of their medical professional. When a patient knows there’s a medical problem, reports the problem and seeks out answers, there’s an expectation that the medical advise is correct. When that is not the case and the patient is misdiagnosed, the results can be catastrophic. The numbers showing the high percentage of misdiagnoses among medical professionals is a very serious medical and legal concern,” commented Chicago medical malpractice attorney Philip Bareck.
A medical misdiagnosis can have lethal consequences. 30-year-old Jennifer Hartman was treated for chest pains at Riverside Medical Center in December of last year. The doctors failed to diagnose an underlying medical condition that elevated her heart rate. As a result, she was discharged. Several weeks later, she collapsed and passed away at home after suffering a heart attack.
“When there is a misdiagnosis, the patient is exposed to additional, unnecessary medical costs not to mention the serious health consequences, including ongoing pain, suffering and the continuing progression of the condition, which at times can be fatal. Being properly diagnosed and treated is expected and necessary in our medical community. When that doesn’t happen, the results can be horrific!,” remarked Chicago medical malpractice attorney Philip Bareck.