When you go to a hospital or clinic for treatment of symptoms, you expect the doctors to tell you what’s wrong and make you better. Unfortunately, in many cases, medical professionals delay or wrongly diagnose patients. You may end up suffering even more by not getting proper care right away.
Incorrect diagnoses affect many people every year. According to a study published in medical journal Diagnosis, misdiagnosis may cause around 40,000 to 80,000 deaths in the U.S. every year. The study also found that three ailments stood out in causing the most fatalities.
Identifying the “big three” culprits
In the study, researchers identified the three most commonly misinterpreted types of disorders. These include:
- Vascular events
Around 70% of the deaths came from some form of these three issues. Within those categories, stroke, lung cancer and sepsis were the most common.
Three ways incorrect diagnosis happens
When medical professionals don’t have a correct analysis of symptoms, they may give patients false information in three ways, including:
- Delayed diagnosis – A patient suffers longer through an ailment, possibly causing more damage, before getting treatment.
- Missed diagnosis – A doctor tells a patient there is nothing wrong, and the patient receives no treatment.
- Misdiagnosis – A doctor tells a patient that there is an issue but assigns the wrong ailment to the patient’s symptoms. The patient may receive improper treatment that can cause damage.
If the doctor can’t tell you exactly what’s going on, you may find yourself suffering through worsening symptoms. And if you have a life-threatening illness, you may not receive treatment until it’s too late.
A misdiagnosis is a missed opportunity for treatment
When you are a patient, you rely on doctors to make sure you have the correct treatment and care. But if your diagnosis is incorrect, medical professionals may not get you the treatment you need. If you feel like you have symptoms that aren’t going away after a visit to the doctor, you may want to get a second opinion to see if you have the correct diagnosis.