BUFFALO, N.Y. – When you’re injured or sick, your first diagnosis from your primary care doctor is often incomplete or just plain wrong, a newly published study has found.
Diagnostic error is one of the most common causes of injury in American hospitals today, and the new research conducted by health experts at the Mayo Clinic estimated that more than 20-percent of those who get a second opinion from another doctor find out their original diagnosis was wrong.
The new information is similar to other research on diagnostic errors in hospitals, but it gives safety advocates more evidence that there’s a fundamental flaw in the health care system, and there’s room for improvement.
A Buffalo medical malpractice lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says misdiagnosis is extremely common, and many patients can receive the wrong treatment and become seriously ill or injured.
“Almost everyone will receive a late diagnosis or one that’s completely incorrect at least once in their lives,” Buffalo medical malpractice attorney Steve Barnes said. “These errors can have traumatizing effects on a patient, and in some cases they have even resulted in death.”
According to the National Academy of Medicine, at least 12 million people are misdiagnosed every year. Researchers believe these incidents are also under-reported, so the true number of those impacted by incorrect medical opinions could be far greater.
Traditionally, diagnostic errors in hospitals have been a factor in roughly 10-percent of patient deaths, and they could account for nearly 20-percent of all adverse events in hospitals.
“Inaccurate medical opinions can have a wide range of negative effects on a patient,” Barnes said. “Not only is the patient not feeling better, but they could be prescribed drugs they don’t need, or risky surgeries that aren’t necessary.”
Doctors at the Mayo Clinic looked at nearly 300 patients who had recently seen their primary care doctors. In 62 cases, the second diagnosis was “distinctly different” from the original medical opinion. Only 12-percent of the diagnoses were the same. Doctors partially disagreed with each other’s opinions in the remaining 188 cases.
Buffalo medical malpractice lawyers say a second opinion can be valuable whenever a patient has a serious condition or requires a high-risk operation. In the end, that second opinion could save a lot time, money and heartache.
Unfortunately, mistakes continue to harm patients around the country. Some of the Buffalo medical malpractice attorneys at Cellino & Barnes are former doctors, and well-versed in modern medical procedures and illnesses. They’ve also helped many victims get compensation from an injury suffered as a result of medical malpractice.
If you or a loved one has suffered as the result of a misdiagnosis, botched operation, or other type of medical malpractice, contact Cellino & Barnes for a free case evaluation.
Cellino & Barnes (800) 888-8888