Misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis

Getting a misdiagnosis or having a missed diagnosis is a common occurrence. Read below to learn more about what you should do in the event that you have been harmed in this manner by a Georgia health care practitioner.

What is the difference between a missed diagnosis and a misdiagnosis?

A misdiagnosis occurs when a doctor gives a false diagnosis for the situation. An example of a misdiagnosis is if a doctor tells you you have pleurisy when you actually have a case of acute bronchitis. By contrast, a missed diagnosis implies that you did not actually receive a diagnosis at all. An example of a missed diagnosis would be if a woman was told that a lump in her breast was benign only to later find out that the tumor is malignant.

How common are missed and misdiagnoses?

The actual number of missed diagnoses and misdiagnoses are difficult to calculate, but many researchers suggest that the percentage of these wrongful diagnoses are roughly 5% for all patients. Most of the time these diagnoses are not reported on, because there aren’t many ways for patients to report them. Still, a 5% failure rate is nothing to scoff at. This percentage could mean that out of your last 20 doctor visits, one of them could have resulted in a misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis. Enough of these, and you may have a medical malpractice case on your hands.

What should you do if you suspect that you have been misdiagnosed?

If you have a feeling that you have received a misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis, you owe it to yourself to find out if there are any alternatives that you can use to receive the correct diagnosis. For example, you may request that your primary care provider refer you to a specialist.