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Most Patients are Incorrectly Diagnosed at Least Once in Their Lives

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on November 11, 2015

Most U.S. residents will receive a misdiagnosis or a late diagnosis from a doctor at least once during the course of their lives, according to a report from the Institute of Medicine. In some cases, these mistakes can have disabling, or even deadly consequences.

Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis is far more common than other types of medical malpractice, like operating on the wrong body part or leaving a piece of equipment behind after surgery. Until recently, research on the problem has been sparse. Most researchers focus on hospital medical errors – not those that happen in doctor’s offices and other outpatient medical centers.

The Institute of Medicine report estimates about 12 million adults are misdiagnosed, or have a diagnosis is delayed, each year. That’s about five percent of the U.S. adult population. Researchers predict that as diagnostic processes and health care delivery systems become more complex, the rate of errors is likely to go up.

Errors in hospital settings have received increased attention ever since the Institute of Medicine’s 1999 report “To Err is Human.” The report estimated that 100,000 people die in hospital care each year due to preventable medical errors. The newest report demonstrates that similar concerns may face patients receiving care in their doctor’s offices or at outpatient clinics.

At Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., our experienced Seattle medical malpractice attorneys can help you protect your legal rights. You can go after compensation if a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis has caused you serious harm. Contact us today to learn more.

You can reach us at (888) 228-3860.

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