Diagnosis errors made by doctors and other medical professionals are much more common than a lot of people think, and they can have incredibly drastic results. In fact, they've been linked to about 10 percent of all patient deaths. Every year, there are also hundreds of thousands of incidents in which people are harmed. Many of these incidents lead to medical malpractice cases.
So, how likely is this to happen to you in Colorado? Reports indicate that these problems are so common that nearly everyone in the United States will experience them at some point.
These diagnosis errors could be minor, of course, leading to a temporary setback that can be easily fixed. The prevalence of these minor instances is what makes it likely that everyone will experience one. For instance, people are sometimes told they are having heart attacks when the reality is that they're just suffering from acid reflux.
However, as the numbers show, there are also thousands of very serious, costly instances. People are sometimes told they don't have cancer when they really do. Delays in treatment can allow it to spread. People with infectious diseases are sometimes sent home because the doctor thinks they're not a risk to anyone else, but they can actually transmit it to family members and friends.
It can be hard to combat this problem, but medical professionals have stressed that teamwork is the key to the whole thing. Better training can also help, as can advances in technology and computer systems. Considering how common these incidents are, everyone should know their rights to compensation.
Source: Wyoming Public Media, "Report: Errors In Diagnosis Are Common And Will Take Teamwork To Fix," Sep. 22, 2015