Misdiagnosis – or being diagnosed with the wrong medical condition – is one of the most common medical errors. Although it’s difficult to estimate exactly how many misdiagnoses occur every year, some experts have hypothesized that as many as 40% of all diagnoses are proven inaccurate.
Of course, not every instance of misdiagnosis will lead to a life-altering injury
: In most cases, those who experience a diagnostic error will eventually
get the treatment they need. However, there are also cases where a misdiagnosis
can mean the difference between life and death.
If you’ve lost a loved one or suffered serious injuries because of misdiagnosis, our Phoenix attorneys at Cullan & Cullan can help you pursue compensation. Since 1990, our doctor-lawyers have been committed to protecting injured patients – and securing restitution for their losses.
For more information, call (602) 900-9483 or contact us online to get started with a misdiagnosis injury claim in Arizona.
Examples of Serious Misdiagnosis Errors
According to research performed at Johns Hopkins Medicine, up to 80,000 deaths and 160,000 serious injuries may be related to misdiagnosis each year. While almost any condition can be misdiagnosed, three main misdiagnosis events are responsible for over 75% of all the deaths and serious injuries in the United States.
The “big three” misdiagnosis events most likely to cause lasting injuries:
- Cancer: When you’ve been misdiagnosed with cancer, you may sustain severe injuries related to unnecessary chemotherapy, surgeries, and other invasive procedures. On the other side, cancer patients who remain undiagnosed may die as a result of unchecked growths.
- Vascular (heart) events: Approximately 22% of all serious misdiagnosis cases are related to vascular or heart conditions, such as heart attacks. Failing to recognize the signs of a heart attack can result in fatality.
- Infections: Infections can easily lead to septic shock and other life-threatening conditions when a doctor fails to recognize the signs. This is why it is the third most common misdiagnosis resulting in injury or death.
Damages Related to Misdiagnosis
Regardless of which condition was misdiagnosed, you may be suffering from painful and lasting injuries as a result of your physician’s error. When you are diagnosed with a more serious condition than the one you have, you may experience significant stress and anxiety, decreasing your chances of improvement over time. Conversely, when doctors fail to identify the signs of a life-threatening condition or disease, there may not be enough time left to prevent a fatality.
Some common damages related to misdiagnosis:
- Medical bills and doctor’s visits
- Surgical procedures
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Physical pain and suffering
- Disability and disfigurement
- Long-term care needs
- Wrongful death
Of course, when proving misdiagnosis in a medical malpractice claim, it isn’t enough to simply show that a diagnostic error took place. You must be able to demonstrate that your physician or healthcare provider violated the standard of care, which is defined as the care you could expect under similar circumstances from a trained doctor in a comparable specialty.
That means your misdiagnosis claim may also include the following medical errors:
- Failure to perform appropriate screening tests for your presented symptoms
- Failure to refer the patient to a trained specialist
- Incorrect analysis of test results or lab samples
- Faulty or defective lab equipment
- Lack of sufficient consultation with the patient
- Failure to include the correct diagnosis on the differential diagnosis list
Do you think you have a misdiagnosis claim in Phoenix? Call (602) 900-9483 or contact us online to get started with a free consultation.