When people in Kansas City and throughout Missouri are experiencing a medical issue, the obvious response is to seek treatment from a physician. Often, the key to appropriate treatment is an accurate diagnosis. Unfortunately, many people face a worsened condition or lose their lives because of a mistake by a medical professional when it comes to diagnosing the illness or condition. A recent analysis came to worrying conclusions about the frequency of these errors.
Johns Hopkins University led the study in which 28 other studies were assessed. It found that almost one out of 10 people who had cancer, suffered a serious vascular event or had an infection were misdiagnosed. Johns Hopkins looked at 15 different conditions and discovered that 9.6% were subjected to this type of error. The goal of the research is to help health care companies and medical professionals understand where the mistakes have been made and take steps to avoid them in the future.
There were nearly 92,000 patients in the 28 studies that researchers scrutinized. They looked at five conditions over three categories of diseases. The cancers ranged from lung, breast, prostate, colorectal and melanoma. Examples of vascular incidents included myocardial infarction (heart attack), strokes, embolism and aortic aneurysm. Those with infections had pneumonia, meningitis, sepsis and others. The misdiagnoses were categorized as medical professionals failing to come to a proper understanding of what the patient was suffering from and consequently not dispensing the proper treatment.
Not only can patients be harmed when there is a misdiagnosis of the condition they are suffering from, but there can be a delay in treatment that can lower the window of opportunity to help the person with his or her prognosis. For example, nearly 25% of those with a misdiagnosis of lung cancer had their treatment delayed.
People who were misdiagnosed and suffered more than they should have because of it may face hefty medical costs, long-term damage and other challenges due to an avoidable mistake. Families who lost a loved one will lament the potential for a treatment that could have been effective and prevented the worst-case scenario. A legal filing can investigate the case and determine if there was a medial error. A law firm with experience in medical malpractice cases due to misdiagnosis may be able to help.