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Understanding the factors behind diagnostic errors

Unfortunately for many patients in New London, diagnostic errors remain a real threat. At Beebe and O’Neil, we know how dangerous it is for a medical professional to misdiagnose an health problem. However, knowing the circumstances that lead to these situations can prevent you from becoming a victim.

The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine reports that common symptoms often lead to an error in diagnosis. For example, a study found that people presenting symptoms such as fatigue and abdominal pain were most easily misdiagnosed as having a benign infection or pulmonary disease.

These mistakes occur for a number of reasons, including the following: 

  •        A physician does not have your full medical history or knowledge of all symptoms.
  •        A physician has seen a number of patients with similar symptoms and assumes their diagnosis should be yours.
  •        A physician does not order the correct tests to accurately diagnose you.

It is impossible to safeguard against every factor that leads to a misdiagnosis, but there are steps you can take to mitigate the risk. For example, be sure to let a doctor know about all your symptoms or any changes in your health and behavior, even if you believe it is insignificant. You should also get a second – or even third – opinion, especially when dealing with a potentially serious issue.

When these errors do happen, you can take legal recourse through filing a lawsuit. Failing to diagnosis or making an incorrect diagnosis can result in additional bills, disruptions to your life and emotional problems.

For more information on this topic, please visit our page regarding medical malpractice lawsuits.

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