Robert A. Solomon, P.C.
Two Offices Serving New York & New Jersey

Study finds misdiagnosis is shockingly common

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Receiving timely treatment is one of the most important factors in a New Jersey person's care when suffering from an illness, condition or injury. Visiting a doctor is supposed to alleviate whatever the problem is. There is an inherent and unassailable trust that a patient gives to a doctor. When that is betrayed, it can lead to significant problems that can be long-lasting. Research has found that the number of times in which a person is subjected to a misdiagnosis is far more common that was initially believed.

A new study found that most patients who have serious medical issues are first given a misdiagnosis. Conducted by the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, the researchers found that patients who sought a second opinion received a different diagnosis than they did the first time. In this study, 286 people who went to their primary doctor for 2009 and 2010 were assessed. One-fifth of the people were told they had a different medical condition than the one they were initially diagnosed with. 66 percent had a diagnosis that was changed marginally. And 12 percent were diagnosed accurately.

A different study by the National Academy of Medicine said that a vast amount of people will, at some point in their lives, receive a misdiagnosis or a late diagnosis. This can lead to significant damage. Their estimate was that 5 percent of people treated as outpatients received a wrong diagnosis on an annual basis. That might not sound like a lot, but when added together, it comes to around 12 million people. A 2016 study by Johns Hopkins says that medical mistakes were the third most common reason for people to die on a yearly basis.

Since there are approximately 10,000 diseases from which a person can suffer and between 200 and 300 symptoms, it is inevitable that mistakes will be made. However, that does not eliminate the responsibility a doctor or other medical professional has to the patient. When there has been medical professional negligence, a misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose or other mistakes, the patient might be faced with higher medical costs, long-term problems and even death. Because of that, those who were negatively affected by an error or believe that a mistake took place should contact an attorney experienced in medical malpractice to consider a lawsuit.

Source:, "Many People With Serious Medical Conditions Are Initially Misdiagnosed: Study," SumitPassary, April 5, 2017

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