You go to the doctor because you feel unwell. You expect to receive a diagnosis, a plan for treatment and perhaps a course of antibiotics or other medication that will get you healthy once again.
It's estimated that 12 million people in the United States get misdiagnosed each year. Roughly half of those cases of misdiagnosis can cause potentially serious harm to the patients. But even when a misdiagnosis doesn't result in a life-or-death emergency, there can still be serious consequences to the patient's health. Recovery can be delayed or harsh treatment like chemo can be ordered that can leave the patient infertile and suffering from many side effects.
One woman in another state proved that dogs can be women's best friends, too. Her Siberian husky's odd reactions to her led the woman to seek treatment for abdominal pain. However, the doctor at the Emergency Room only prescribed a narcotic painkiller after diagnosing her condition as an ovarian cyst.
A Hyannis doctor, his nurse practitioner (NP) and their physicians group are being sued by the widow of a deceased patient.
It is an understatement to say that medical providers in Boston have a very difficult job. Tasked with juggling the huge amount of knowledge they have accrued with the symptoms of many patients can certainly be a challenge. This is especially so for general practitioners and family doctors who see a wide variety of patients.
If a doctor misdiagnoses an allergic condition as a common cold, it probably will not result in serious complications. In most cases, the patient will recover from the symptoms regardless of the diagnosis. However, some conditions will worsen without the correct diagnosis followed by immediate treatment. Ovarian cancer is such a condition and it can be fatal without proper treatment.
When discussing or thinking about failure to diagnose, conditions that affect the skin are often overlooked. Because people can see most of their skin every day, they may think that nothing is wrong. However, many patients may not notice the symptoms associated with such conditions because they see their own skin so often.
Living in Boston and other regions of Massachusetts means you are no stranger to ticks. Notorious for hitching a ride on skin, clothing and even pets, deer ticks can cause a great deal of suffering when they bite. Worsening the situation, Lyme disease is one of the most misdiagnosed illnesses in the United States.
People in Massachusetts and elsewhere rely on the knowledge of medical professionals to help them receive the right treatment. The first step in any treatment plan is pinpointing the patient's condition and delivering an accurate diagnosis. When failure to diagnose occurs, it triggers a cascade of potential problems for the patient such as:
Medical mistakes and diagnostic errors are common in doctors' offices, hospitals and other health care facilities in Massachusetts. While some of these errors are benign and easily corrected, others can lead to critical conditions and even death. Failure to diagnose and misdiagnoses are among the most common medical mistakes, and they can have catastrophic consequences for patients and their families.