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When doctors make mistakes, patients suffer

It can be frightening enough to discover that cancer has been the reason behind health problems; this distress can become all the more magnified when a doctor gives a late diagnosis. Maryland patients deserve honest and reputable healthcare, but unfortunately, this is not always the case. How often do medical professionals miss serious diagnoses, and what happens when an error occurs? 

According to Live Science, the number one reason why patients sue doctors can be traced back to the failure to diagnose an illness. Using a study that spanned across the United States, Canada and other countries, Live Science goes on to state that up to 63 percent of claims involved missed diagnoses. Various types of cancer -- including breast, melanoma, colon and lung cancers -- were most frequently missed. The most common outcome as a result of these errors was death. While some mistakes can never be reversed, Live Science quotes a number of doctors who claim that close studies and analyses of medical errors can ultimately improve the quality of medical practice, no matter the special area. 

Following Live Science's article, it comes as no surprise that health source VeryWell reports high statistics in connection with misdiagnoses and missed diagnoses. VeryWell looks through the lens of one study, which shows that these errors occur at a shocking rate of 40 percent. As unsettling as this statistic sounds, patients can look to other options when suspecting that a doctor has not used good judgement. For example, patients may inquire about specialists in specific areas; these medical professionals can have a keener knowledge on illnesses and conditions. Patients may also take legal action, no matter how severe the mistake might have been. A missed diagnosis or misdiagnosis can seriously impact a person's life, making this issue all the more crucial to address.    



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