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Study: most Americans get at least one incorrect or delayed diagnosis

It's common knowledge that in order to get helpful medical treatments, you must first be properly diagnosed in a timely manner. Unfortunately, a new study indicates that most Americans will receive at least one incorrect or delayed diagnosis in their lives, an article in the Lexington Herald-Leader states.

The Institute of Medicine report calls for rapid changes to our health care systems, including better communication between doctors, nurses, labs and patients. The IOM committee that wrote the paper noted that diagnostic errors are the most common form of doctor negligence cited in paid medical malpractice claims.

Misdiagnosis is also nearly twice as likely to result in patient death in those cases of medical malpractice. Other types of claims include anesthesia mistakes, medication errors and botched surgeries.

Dr. John Ball of the American College of Physicians chaired the IOM committee and said patients are key to fixing the misdiagnosis epidemic. Health care providers need to listen more carefully to patient complaints, get test result copies to patients quickly and encourage patients to ask about other diagnostic possibilities, according to the newspaper article.

A misdiagnosis can mean treatment for a minor ailment unrelated to a serious existing medical problem or result in treatment that aggravates the real problem or causes other harm to the patient. A delayed diagnosis typically means delayed treatment; medical care that might be critical to your long-term health or survival.

For Covington victims of medical malpractice, it makes sense to have on your side a law firm with attorneys who practice in both Kentucky and Ohio. Someone who knows the laws and courts can help protect you, your family and your rights and interests.

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