Montana residents should be interested to know that despite the great strides that have been made in modern medicine and healthcare, we still have a long way to go. This is especially true with the regard to the efficacy of the tools that health professionals have at their disposal to diagnose disease.

Even with our top of the line functional MRIs, sonograms and the myriad of lab tests and bloodwork that health care practitioners have at their disposal, misdiagnosing ailments is still by far the prevailing single most common medical error that patients have to endure. According to multiple studies conducted on this subject, the data shows that doctors tend to initially misdiagnose as much as 15 percent of all medical problems that are presented to them.

A large study conducted in 2013 uncovered that the most common medical problems that health care professionals tend to routinely misdiagnose are pneumonia, congestive heart failure and certain cancers, as well as urinary tract infections and acute renal failure.

Moreover, another study indicated that patients are twice as likely to have their medical problems misdiagnosed if they are seen by a doctor at their private practice rather than being evaluated by a doctor at a hospital. However, when a patient is misdiagnosed at a hospital, the consequences can be much more disastrous because patients that are being evaluated at a hospital tend to be sicker than those visiting a private practice. It is estimated that nearly 160,000 patients annually either lose their life or suffer permanent life altering injuries because of either misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis.

In the 21st century, medical errors should not be as common as they have been. Those who think they or their loved one has suffered a medical error or has been misdiagnosed, may want to consult a medical malpractice attorney for more information and legal options.

Source: Newsmax Health, “10 Mistakes Even Good Doctors Make,” Lynn Allison, July 7, 2014