If you're like most Americans, you place a lot of trust in your doctor. Physicians undergo considerable schooling and training to get where they are. They're some of society's best and brightest.
According to a report recently issued by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), a division of the independent National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, most U.S. patients will suffer at least one misdiagnosis error during their lifetime - often with deadly results.
Cancer is a frightening thought for people in Newton. Given the number of women who are faced with breast cancer on an annual basis, it's often said that they should get regular mammograms and receive an early diagnosis in order to treat the disease. However, a study into misdiagnoses indicates that a cancer misdiagnosis in which patients were told they had breast cancer led to $4 billion in spending on an annual basis. This study looked at women between the ages of 40 and 59.
One of the most terrifying words that a person in Newton can hear from a medical professional is "cancer." A medical issue that was of relatively minor concern can turn into fear for one's life or the life of a loved one if the subject is broached. On the same token, when a person is told her or she has cancer and that ends up being misdiagnosed cancer, this too can be damaging. Understanding the frequency of misdiagnosed cancer and how it can happen is an important step in the process of moving forward. That can include seeking compensation for the mistake.
For women in Newton and their families, it's a part of life to receive tests to check whether or not they might show signs of breast cancer. Medical professionals universally agree that catching the disease early is often the key between a successful treatment and worsened condition. However, there are often issues with misdiagnosis of cancer leading to delayed treatment and a greater risk of mortality. Understanding the frequency of this issue and why it's necessary to seek other opinions might be part of the battle, but that doesn't assuage a doctor's culpability if a mistake is made and the patient gets sicker or even dies.
When it comes to a person in Newton and throughout the U.S. facing breast cancer, the detection of the disease and start of treatment are keys to whether or not the patient will have a better chance of survival. When it is due to a negligent physician and a failure to diagnose cancer resulting in the delayed treatment, there is a missed opportunity for the patient and the patient's family to try and seek treatment and an extended life. A study from Ohio State University designed to determine the importance of faster treatment showed that those who waited were more at risk of an earlier death.
One of the worst things that can happen when a person in Newton goes to the doctor for treatment is to be subject to a misdiagnosis or a failure to timely diagnose. According to a recent study, these issues happen far too frequently. While in many instances, no damage is done because of these mistakes, there are times when it can lead to a person becoming more ill, suffering from the spread of disease and perhaps dying when it was not necessary.
Patients in Newton and throughout Massachusetts who face the fear of being diagnosed with cancer are relieved when they're told they're in the clear or prepare for treatment when they're told they're facing the dreaded disease. However, the number of mistakes that are made with a failure to diagnose cancer or diagnosing the disease when the patient is not suffering from it can cause a vast amount of damage to the patient and his or her family. Some suffer a worsened condition if the diagnosis is missed. Others receive or come close to receiving treatment they don't need when there has been misdiagnosed cancer.
People in Boston who are subjected to a misdiagnosis for a health issue are not alone. Studies have shown that a large number of mistakes made when diagnosing health problems have led to major payouts from legal filings. Recent studies showed that almost $39 billion was paid out from 350,000 claims over the previous 25 years. Researchers who looked into this problem studied data from the years 1986 to 2010. 35 percent of the mistakes that were made that resulted in payouts were based on misdiagnosis. The studies focused on cases that wound up with a payment made to claimants.
A nightmare scenario for people in Boston and across the country who go to a medical professional or emergency room exhibiting symptoms is to be misdiagnosed. When there is a mistake or a missed diagnosis, the patient can be subject to delayed treatment and worsened condition. Many associate this type of incident with various cancers, but the spread of disease is not the only issue that a patient can face. There are other aftereffects if a misdiagnosis is made regardless of the issue the person is suffering from.