Kentucky Patients Misdiagnosed By Trusted Physicians

Medical misdiagnosis is a common form of medical malpractice in the U.S., and can lead to complications, including needless surgeries and death.

Kentucky residents and Americans across the country put their trust in the U.S. medical system, and their physicians' ability to properly evaluate and diagnose an impending medical condition. Surprisingly, more than 12 million adults seeking outpatient care are misdiagnosed each year, according to new research published in BMJ Quality & Safety. This form of medical malpractice represents approximately 5 percent of all adult outpatient visits. This number is predicted to be even greater, as many misdiagnosed patients may not be aware that they have been given the wrong diagnosis. Failure to diagnose a patient may also lead to further medical complications, injuries and even death.

Diagnostic Errors

Why are so many American physicians making critical diagnostic errors that may injure or kill their patients? There are several reasons why a doctor may make a wrong diagnosis. While some doctors may lack the experience or education necessary to properly evaluate patients with a certain condition, others may be fatigued or negligent in their practice, according to The Washington Post.

Many doctors are not able to perform an adequate comprehensive evaluation of their patients because they do not spend enough time with each patient, as reported by CBS News. Emergency room doctors are especially prone to medical errors because of the chaotic environment, frequent doctor interruptions and lack of knowledge regarding patients' medical histories. Diagnostic errors can also occur when patients see several doctors and do not disclose their full medical history to each physician. Health care professionals who do not properly analyze patients' medical histories, order the wrong diagnostic tests or fail to properly read test results are also in danger of wrongfully diagnosing a patient's condition.

Complications Of Misdiagnosis

Whether a physician fails to diagnose a patient's condition or misidentifies an illness, the patient is at risk of further complications. According to BMJ Quality & Safety, intensive care units across the country recorded approximately 40,500 fatal diagnostic errors in 2012. When patients receive a misdiagnosis, they may receive unnecessary surgical procedures. This may result in medical expenses, pain, physical limitations and potential permanent disabilities. Wrongfully diagnosed patients may take medication that they don't need, which could exacerbate their actual condition, create complications or even cause another condition that they didn't have previously.

When To Seek Legal Help

Kentucky residents who have been victimized by medical malpractice or have lost a loved one due to a physician's negligence, may want to contact an attorney who can show them all of their legal options. Although you may be inundated with medical expenses, you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries.

Keywords: medical, malpractice, misdiagnosis