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Study shows frequency of doctor errors

When a person in San Diego goes to a medical professional to receive treatment for an illness or other issue, there is an expectation that there won't be any doctor errors made that can make the situation worse. Unfortunately, mistakes are made frequently and it can lead to long-term damage to those who are victimized by it. Knowing the facts about the frequency might lead to more questions being asked when seeing the doctor, but it won't help those who have already been affected by these doctor errors.

Recent analysis has shown that approximately 12 million people in the U.S. are potential victims of wrong diagnosis or other mistakes when going to the emergency room or their local clinic. Half of those are possibly damaging. Patients who suffer from various issues like lung cancer, anemia, pneumonia and other health problems could have their issues missed by a doctor. Researchers who believe that there is a danger to missing opportunities to help patients exhibiting symptoms that are not diagnosed on time conducted this study.

It can be hard to truly calculate the number of mistakes that are made because there are different definitions used for what is a mistake. The data that was used emanated from prior studies focusing on unusual returns to receive care as well as an absence of follow-up visits for findings that could be considered abnormal with lung cancer and colorectal cancer. They used triggers related to errors from records at two major health care systems from 2006 to 2007. The researchers crafted their own parameters to help with the accuracy of the study. In slightly more than 5 percent of the cases, the initial diagnosis was found to have been inaccurate when it could have been correct if the information provided in the first visit was correctly assessed.

While doctors obviously don't intend to make errors, doctor negligence is something that happens with shocking regularity. To make matters worse, the research has indicated that the mistakes that were made were highly preventable. When there is medical malpractice, those who have been hurt by it need to understand their rights. If they're faced with medical costs or even fatalities due to doctor errors, speaking to a legal professional is one way to pursue compensation.

Source: NBCNews.com, "Misdiagnosed: Docs' Mistakes Affect 12 Million a Year," Jonel Aleccia, Apr. 16, 2014

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