Getting a misdiagnosis may have disastrous repercussions. It can lead to wasted money on unnecessary treatments, adverse side effects and death.
Despite its severe impact on a patient’s health, the country still faces a significant misdiagnosis problem. A recent study reveals that around 7 million misdiagnosis incidents happen in the United States annually.
Out of this total, around 2.6 million people experience preventable harm, and 370,000 suffer permanent disabilities or death. These figures also equate to approximately 1,400 mistakes made in each emergency room in the country per year.
This study also revealed that these are the five most misdiagnosed conditions across the United States:
- Heart attacks
- Spinal cord injuries or compressions
- Aortic aneurysms or dissections
- Blood clots in veins
These conditions make up 39% of all severe misdiagnosis-related issues. Additionally, some patients may fail to provide accurate information because of their symptoms, impeding their ability to respond.
The fast-paced reaction of medical professionals in the emergency room might cause errors, but they need to act quickly to stabilize their patients first.
Why do errors happen?
Multiple factors can contribute to a misdiagnosis. In the emergency room alone, communication and information problems cause around 45% of errors. Doctors rely on data collected from patients. One mistake during this simple but vital step may result in severe consequences.
Additionally, the emergency room is a stressful place where all medical workers are always on the move. Even if they do their best to avoid mistakes, the pressure to decide quickly can make room for errors.
These problems might lead to a more severe health issue, resulting in extensive medical treatments, tests and bills. In these situations, you can file a claim against the medical facility that made grave errors while treating you.