According to a study cited by US News, from 1986 to 2010 diagnostic errors in medical treatment resulted in malpractice payments totaling $38.8 billion (adjusted for inflation.) North Carolina is no different to the rest of the country – WSOC cited a study that shows preventable medical mistakes kill and permanently injure thousands of patients in North Carolina every year.
“Something as simple as dismissing a persistent cough could be the difference between a correct and incorrect diagnosis,” said Ballantyne medical malpractice attorney, Thomas D. Bumgardner. “Careless and negligent mistakes by medical professionals can lead to life-altering consequences and I believe victims and their families should be fairly compensated.”
In this week’s blog, we look at the most common misdiagnoses that medical professionals make. (All data is taken from a 2008 study published in the Internet Journal of Family Practice.)
Infections are extremely common medical conditions. An infection that sneaks past the immune system and isn’t treated in a timely manner can be deadly. It is so important for doctors to carefully examine the symptoms and test results to come to the correct conclusion.
2) Pulmonary Embolism (Blood Clot in Lungs)
The symptoms of a pulmonary embolism include shortness of breath, chest pain, anxiety and sweating. Medical professionals can downplay the severity of these symptoms. This may explain why 60,00 to 200,000 people die each year from a pulmonary embolism.
3) Heart Attacks and Heart Disease
Did you know that heart attacks aren’t always painful? Often times, the symptoms of a heart attack are confused with heartburn, gallstones, chest infections and even anxiety.
The study found that over one out of every ten cancer diagnosis is initially incorrect. Often times growths found in scans are overlooked and symptoms lead doctors toward an incorrect diagnosis.
Emergency room doctors have been known to confuse symptoms of an oncoming stroke with headaches, ear infections and migraines. If the person in question is under the age of 45, doctors are much more likely to misdiagnose a stroke victim.
Have you or a Loved One Been Affected by Medical Malpractice?
If you feel that you, or someone in your life has been the victim of negligence from a medical professional, it is recommended that you seek legal counsel. Thomas D. Bumgardner has years of experience handling medical malpractice cases for clients in the Charlotte and Ballantyne area. To talk about your case free-of-charge, please call (704) 870-4779.