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Medical misdiagnoses can result in personal injury suits

People in Maryland and elsewhere occasionally get ill. If the symptoms are other than those of the common cold and persist for a time, a visit to a doctor is probably warranted. People rely on a doctor's expertise to be able to properly diagnose the problem; however, a study by John's Hopkins in Baltimore reveals that misdiagnoses are not uncommon and occur on a daily basis. Failure to diagnose a serious ailment can result in a personal injury case.

The likelihood of making a misdiagnosis varied by specialty. The lowest number was among pediatricians as they reported an 11% rate of daily misdiagnoses. The highest number was among emergency medicine doctors at 26%, and they are the doctors treating acute cases that present in the emergency room. In addition to looking at doctors, the study also looked into misdiagnoses among the non-physician medical staff. This included nurses and physician's assistants who estimated that diagnostic errors were made at the rate of about 17%.

A total of 751 health practitioners were polled in the study. An additional question posed in the study asked about reasons for the occurrence of misdiagnoses. There were three top reasons given, and the first one was not receiving feedback on diagnostic accuracy. In addition, the inability to spend the time needed to confirm a diagnosis and a hospital culture that discourages the disclosure of errors were given as top reasons for the errors.

An accurate medical diagnosis is required to properly treat most physical or mental ailments. The ramifications of a misdiagnosis on a long-term prognosis are grave. If a person in Maryland believes he or she has been misdiagnosed and has suffered as a result, a consultation with a personal injury attorney may assist the client in understanding what legal options may be available.

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