Research about misdiagnosis statistics often appears on websites for medical malpractice law firms. While misdiagnosis investigations tend to focus on the legal aspects, unfortunately for many patients a misdiagnosis can be damaging or fatal.
With the increasing advances in medical technology, many people may erroneously believe that misdiagnoses are, in turn, increasing rare. However, a diagnosis is a medical professional’s opinion based on the information that he or she receives. Therefore, while a blood test result could mean one thing for one physician, it may indicate something else for another.
Another cause of misdiagnosis is that a variety of ailments can have similar symptoms. This is particularly true with mental health issues and it requires extensive exploration for a medical professional to be assured of his or her diagnosis.
For a medical professional to make a diagnosis, he or she needs as much information as possible. Therefore, a patient’s candor and ability to describe his symptoms is of the upmost importance.
Finally, the human factor should be considered, such as is the doctor tired, distracted, under stress, overwhelmed, or in any other state that might be negatively impacting his ability to look at things clearly and accurately.
When a patient presents a series of symptoms to a doctor, the doctor will conduct an examination and typically request diagnostic tests. The time between running the tests, receiving the results, reviewing the results, and contacting the patient can be several days or even weeks. Because of this delay, a doctor may often prescribe a medication in the mean time for a limited period.
When the tests results are analyzed and a diagnosis is made, the doctor may change the prescribed medication or alter the dosage of the initial prescription. If the patient experiences side effects from one medication, the doctor may prescribe a second medication to offset the side effects. When a patient is dealing with multiple doctors for a variety of ailments, the numbers, types, and side effects of many medications may come into play.
If you are taking several prescribed medications, it is important for you to look for signs of addiction including the following:
If you believe that you may have a problem, now is the time to take control and seek addiction treatment support.
If you are addicted to prescription drugs, help is available. This can be a vulnerable and trying time and we are here to help. We can listen to your struggles, answer your questions about treatment options, explore your insurance coverage, and provide you with resources. Call our toll-free number any time; we are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have.