Study shows misdiagnosis happens more than previously thought

Study shows misdiagnosis happens more than previously thought

On Behalf of | May 20, 2020 | Medical Malpractice |

People in Texas rely on medical professionals to keep them healthy and safe. Sadly, there are still instances when patients are harmed by medical mistakes. One recent study found that misdiagnosis of certain serious conditions happens more often than people may realize. When looking at a category of conditions often called “the big three” in medical circles, as many as 10% of patients are misdiagnosed. Misdiagnosis can have devastating consequences for patients and their families.

The study was led by a Johns Hopkins neurologist and examined research on 15 different diseases. Three top disease categories had a rate of misdiagnosis, which could mean an inaccurate or a delayed diagnosis, of 1 in 10 patients. The three conditions were a major vascular event, certain cancers and infection.

Research showed that one of the most likely conditions to be overlooked is a spinal abscess, which is an infection that is misdiagnosed in over 62% of cases. The study also determined that if a major vascular event was less common, it was more likely to be misdiagnosed, while cancers with poor programs for diagnostic screening often missed a critical diagnosis. The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine, which funded the study, is advocating for legislative change that would fund research centers for diagnostics. The hope is that these measures will save lives and improve the health care industry for everyone, patients and health care workers alike.

Patients trust in the education and experience of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals. If a patient is inaccurately diagnosed, or experiences a delay in diagnosis, it can significantly and negatively impact his or her future health. Civil litigation may be the best way to secure monetary damages that a patient and his or her family may need for future care. Families here in Texas who have suffered due to a misdiagnosis may want to reach out to an attorney who has considerable experience in handling medical malpractice claims.