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How common is a misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis?

Medical malpractice occurs when medical professionals fail to do their job, causing patients to experience delayed medical treatment or suffer from their doctors’ mistakes. Medical malpractice isn’t typically done out of spite, paranoia or annoyance, but rather from negligence, oversight and incompetence. Because of this, patients experience misdiagnosis or missed diagnoses all the time.

You’re probably wondering what the difference is between a misdiagnosis and a missed diagnosis. The two seem nearly identical and because of this many people confuse them. Both relate to medical malpractice, but that doesn’t mean misdiagnosis and missed diagnosis are the same. Here’s what you should know:

What exactly are misdiagnoses and missed diagnoses?

Misdiagnosis and missed diagnosis are cut from the same cloth but are used for different situations. Once you know how misdiagnosis and missed diagnosis work, you’ll realize the differences aren’t so subtle. The difference between the two are as followed:

  • Misdiagnosis: doctors who diagnose patients with the wrong condition perform misdiagnosis. Many conditions have similar symptoms, which may cause doctors to diagnose one illness when they should diagnose a different illness instead. For instance, a patient may experience heartburn and be diagnosed with indigestion when they should have been diagnosed with a heart attack.
  • Missed diagnosis: patients who receive no treatment, diagnosis or testing are subjected to a missed diagnosis. Miss diagnosis may cause a patient to suffer worsening symptoms from their condition that could have been prevented with treatment. A doctor may delay diagnosing a patient for a serious medical condition after suspecting them of drug abuse.

Over 12 million people a year experience some form of medical malpractice because of how their health care providers treated their medical condition, yet, this only amounts to 5% of adult patients. Many patients may not realize they were subjected to medical malpractice. Some people’s illnesses pass, so they don’t experience any harmful effects from a misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis, however, some patients may experience increasingly worse symptoms that might result in their hospitalization.

Now that you understand how misdiagnosis and missed diagnosis work and how common it occurs, you can better understand what occurred during your last doctor’s visit. When you suffer from a misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis, you may need help from legal guidance to recover from your medical bills.