Many of us go to a great deal of effort to monitor and maintain our general health. We try and watch our diets, get the recommended amount of exercise, and avoid activities that we know are harmful. We get vaccines and flu shots to prevent illness or disease, and go in for annual bloodwork and screenings with the hopes of catching any conditions in their early, more treatable stages. We not only trust our medical professionals to properly assess our conditions, to diagnose any problems, and to prescribe the proper treatments, but we depend on their care. When your health is on the line, a medical misdiagnosis can mean a serious illness and injury goes unnoticed, and the results can be potentially fatal. While the incidence of medical misdiagnosis has been rising, there are steps you can do to help ensure you get the medical care you need and deserve.
Types of Medical Misdiagnosis
Medical misdiagnosis has become an increasingly common and serious problem in the medical community. According to a 2014 study by BMJ Quality and Safety, the online medical journal of the National Patient Safety Organization, approximately 12 million Americans seeking medical care each year in the United States are misdiagnosed. Incidences of medical misdiagnosis result not only in untreated symptoms, but can also mean that potentially fatal diseases are allowed to grow and spread unchecked. Common medical conditions that are misdiagnosed include:
- Heart disease;
- Pulmonary embolism;
- Thyroid conditions;
- Celiac disease; and
- Lyme disease.
Preventing Medical Misdiagnosis
While diagnostic tests can often reveal changes in blood cells, organ functions, and abnormal tissues or masses that can serve as an alert to medical problems or issues, these tests still require a physician to read and interpret the results. While diagnosing a patient’s condition is not always an easy matter, it is the doctor’s responsibility to be diligent in detecting potentially life threatening diseases. At the same time, patients can take the following steps to ensure a proper medical diagnosis, which include:
- Write down all of your symptoms, and be specific about each one;
- Give an accurate and complete family history;
- Bring in all medications you have been prescribed;
- Inform your doctor of any specialists you are seeing or any medical treatments you have received; and
- Return for follow up appointments.
In addition to the above, be sure and ask your doctor plenty of questions. If you feel you are being rushed or your symptoms are being overlooked, stand your ground. Be being a vocal advocate for your own health, you stand a better chance of getting the type of care you deserve.
Contact Our Experienced Florida Medical Malpractice Attorneys Today
If you or a loved one has had an injury or illness that was medically misdiagnosed, contact our experienced Florida medical malpractice attorneys. At Hogan Frick, we fight for the rights of patients and their families. We will hold responsible parties accountable for the damages they have caused, and help ensure victims of medical malpractice get the compensation they deserve.