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Medical error is the third leading cause of death in the United States, and misdiagnosis is a sizable part of those fatalities. Primary physicians can’t be expected to know the symptoms of every disease or condition known to man, but there are circumstances where a doctor fails to diagnose a severe, sometimes life-threatening, condition that he or she should have reasonably been able to determine. When a doctor misdiagnoses a patient who then suffers injury or death, a medical malpractice lawsuit could be warranted.
A recent study published in April found that approximately 20 percent of patients who sought second opinions at notable medical centers such as the Mayo Clinic were first misdiagnosed by their primary doctors. A second opinion is always a good idea, especially if your symptoms are prolonged or worsen with time. While there are thousands of conditions which exhibit similar signs and a doctor can’t be expected to know all of them, many lives could have been saved if the primary physician had ordered further testing or issued a referral to see a specialist.
Previous research found approximately ten percent of patient deaths can be attributed to diagnostic error. Many patients who go on to see a specialist at an esteemed medical institution do so without a referral because they are still suffering despite being “treated” by their primary doctor. Failure to diagnose or delayed diagnosis often have severe consequences and may lead to death or permanent disability.
Some of the most common misdiagnoses include failure to diagnose:
- Heart Attack
- Lung Cancer
- Prostate Cancer
- Cancer of the Colon and Rectum
- Breast Cancer
If you or a loved one has been misdiagnosed and suffered injury or death because of the delayed diagnosis, call our Orlando attorneys at Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter immediately at (407) 712-7300 for a FREE consultation. We serve clients in Orlando, Florida and nationwide.