When going to Georgia clinics, patients depend on trained doctors to find the proper diagnoses and treatments for their conditions. However, far too many people across the country are misdiagnosed when they seek medical help. This can lead to severely worsened health, wrong treatments and missed progressive diseases that are left to spread. Each year, around 12 million people are misdiagnosed due to medical errors. While some of these mistakes may be quickly corrected after new tests, others could persist for years.
The toll taken by misdiagnosis is significant — up to 80,000 people lose their lives each year due to complications related to diagnostic errors, including the failure to diagnose cancer. In what may reflect serious biases in the health care industry, women and people of color are 20% to 30% more likely to be misdiagnosed. When a progressive disorder like cancer is involved, the consequences of misdiagnosis can be especially catastrophic. Early diagnosis and treatment can make a major difference in successfully overcoming cancer. In many cases involving a medical error, the cancer is not discovered until it is too late for successful treatment.
In other cases, people may suffer serious medical incidents because of a misdiagnosis. One woman was diagnosed with allergies and asthma when she experienced shortness of breath, but she actually had an enlarged heart and heart failure. She could have experienced a heart attack while remaining unaware of the severity of her condition.
When a Georgia resident is misdiagnosed by a doctor, they may suffer a worsened health condition as a result. The risks are greater if they receive an incorrect treatment or have an undiscovered progressive disease. A medical malpractice attorney may provide guidance on how a patient could seek justice for a doctor’s error.