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Misdiagnosis of Illness

Misdiagnosis Of Cancer And Other Medical Conditions

Doctors are human, and humans make mistakes. Sometimes doctors make mistakes when making a diagnosis: diagnosing the wrong condition or failing to diagnosis the problem at all. Sometimes a misdiagnosis makes the difference between life and death.

Most diseases are curable with early diagnosis and proper treatment. Many diseases become more serious and even incurable if proper treatment is delayed.

In 2006, the New York Times estimated that 20 percent of every diagnosis involving a fatal illness is misdiagnosed. Deaths from misdiagnosis are estimated at between 40,000 and 80,000 every year.

While medical mistakes can happen at any time during treatment, misdiagnosis was found to occur most often in the:

  • diagnostic testing phase (44 percent)
  • clinician assessment/interpretation errors (32 percent)
  • history taking (10 percent)
  • physical examination (10 percent),
  • delay or errors in referrals or consultations (3 percent)

Statistics show that 22-40 percent of emergency room/intensive care cases involve a misdiagnosis. Commonly misdiagnosed conditions are:

More About Medical Malpractice

Clark, Perdue & List

If you have been injured, or a loved one has died, because of a missed medical diagnosis, contact the Columbus, Ohio, medical malpractice attorneys at Clark, Perdue & List to find out if you have a claim.


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