Get A Second Opinion To Prevent Medical Misdiagnosis
As a patient, you count on doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals to provide the appropriate testing and treatment you need when suffering potentially serious conditions. Unfortunately, medical misdiagnosis is common and can have major impacts on your health. Our Miami medical malpractice lawyer explains how common this problem is and the importance of getting a second opinion.
Medical Misdiagnosis A Common Factor In Medical Malpractice Claims
Medical malpractice has reached alarming new highs and is one of the leading causes of death and disability. In addition to mistakes and surgical errors, medical misdiagnosis is one of the most common causes.
Healthline reports that in the United States alone, more than 12 million people are impacted by medical diagnostic errors annually. Unfortunately, this can cause dangerous delays in the management and treatment of potentially life-threatening conditions. An estimated 40,000 to 80,000 people die each year due to complications from medical misdiagnosis. Among the most common ways it happens include:
- Failure to properly complete patient charts, which can cause doctors to overlook genetic risk factors and a family history of certain conditions;
- Downplaying or dismissing symptoms, which is common during rushed doctor visits;
- Failure to order the appropriate testing, which could help in detecting issues and informing treatment;
- Not referring patients to a specialist as needed, which results in lower quality care;
- Not following up on past doctor visits, to ensure that prior symptoms were properly addressed.
Situations In Which You Should Insist On A Second Opinion
Most of us are conditioned to trust our medical providers and to rely on them completely in regard to our care. However, the high rate of medical misdiagnosis and other types of medical malpractice warrants taking extra precautions.
Experts at Yale Medicine advise that patients should not hesitate to question medical providers in regards to care or treatment and to get a second opinion if there are any doubts. They outline three situations in which getting a second opinion is particularly important:
- If you get a diagnosis of cancer or another life-threatening condition: Seek a second opinion if you are diagnosed with a rare cancer, if you have any doubts regarding your doctor’s expertise, or if you are unsure of the treatment options they recommend.
- If your doctor recommends surgery: While surgery is useful in treating many health conditions, you should always be cautious before undergoing any procedure. Get a second opinion to determine whether there are other treatment options available.
- If a diagnosis or treatment recommendations are unclear: if your doctor dismisses symptoms, fails to provide a specific diagnosis, or seems vague regarding treatments, seek a second opinion from another provider.
Discuss Your Case With Our Miami Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Medical mistakes and misdiagnosis can have major, potentially life-threatening impacts on your health. To discuss your rights in filing a claim, reach out to Pita Weber Del Prado. Give us a call at 305-670-2889 or contact our Miami medical malpractice lawyer online and request a consultation today.