Being misdiagnosed or having a wrong or delayed diagnosis can mean the difference between life and death for some patients. Approximately 20 percent of patients who died in the intensive care unit between 1994 and 1996 were misdiagnosed by their doctors, reports a study in the journal Chest.
Types of Diagnosis Errors
Diagnosis errors can occur for numerous reasons. The lab may make mistakes, the doctor may misread test results, or the doctor can mistake the condition for another. The doctor may also fail to order necessary medical tests, which could delay the diagnosis and allow time for the condition to worsen.
Below are a few examples of diagnosis errors.
- Heart attack: Doctors, particularly in the emergency room, may fail to correlate a patient’s symptoms to having a heart attack. If the patient is sent home without a proper diagnosis and treatment, he or she could have another more serious heart attack.
- Cancer late diagnosis: If a patient reports symptoms and the doctor doesn’t perform proper testing, late diagnosis could wind up killing the patient.
- Appendicitis – The accuracy in diagnosing acute appendicitis is about 80 percent, according to Medscape. Misdiagnosed and delayed diagnosis of appendicitis can increase the risk of death for some patients.
Some other conditions that may be misdiagnosed are below.
- Brain aneurysm
- Traumatic brain injury
- Celiac disease
If you or your loved one was misdiagnosed or your condition worsened because of a late diagnosis, call a medical malpractice attorney at Chalik & Chalik for help.