Belsky Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC A Personal Injury & Workers’ Compensation Law Firm

Failure to Diagnose Archives

Prostate cancer screenings, detection on the decline

Some men in Maryland may be among those who are choosing to not be screened for Prostate cancer based on new guidelines. These new guidelines advise that screening should only be done for men in high-risk categories and for those with a family history of cancer.

Cardiac patients may be misdiagnosed with an aspirin allergy

Some Maryland patients who suffer from cardiac disease may be told that they have an allergy to aspirin if they have a reaction. In many of these cases, the patients are told to stop taking the effective medication. However, a study by the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology showed that about one-third of these patients had gastrointestinal symptoms, not an allergy to aspirin.

Factual information about cancer may improve the outcome

As many Maryland residents know, the effects of having a sense of involvement in personal health can include a longer life span. This is true when it comes to cancer. Several studies show that knowing what type of cancer one has as well as details concerning the treatment protocol a health care professional envisions leads to a better resolution. In addition, not being properly diagnosed leads to a poorer prognosis.

Coalition works to reduce diagnostic errors

Being misdiagnosed can have fatal consequences for some patients. The first U.S. Ebola patient, for example, was originally diagnosed in an emergency room with sinusitis but died later. Many Maryland patients might already know that diagnostic errors happen relatively frequently, so it may be encouraging to learn that the Coalition to Improve Diagnosis is working to reduce this issue.

Testing for mitochondrial disease

As Maryland residents may be aware, a physician's diagnosis of a physical ailment may lead to more prompt and appropriate treatment and a better result when detected early. Some medical problems are caused as a result of a defect in the patient's DNA and may be harder to detect without the use of special testing. One involves the disease, mitochondrial myopathy, which is caused by a mutation in the individual's DNA. The mitochondria is an important part of DNA, since this is where energy is stored by the body.

Some health conditions prone to misdiagnosis

Patients who are sick expect their doctors to make an accurate diagnosis and provide appropriate treatment without multiple office visits and repetitive tests. However, physicians in Maryland and across the country are not always able to make a quick diagnosis, and if they do, the diagnosis is sometimes incorrect.

Lyme disease misdiagnosis is common and costly

Lyme disease cases have shown up in Maryland and everywhere else in the United States. A recent survey found a significant rate of misdiagnosis of patients with Lyme disease because physicians believe that it can only be contracted in certain geographical areas. Also contributing to the high rate of misdiagnosis are lab tests, which were shown to produce a false negative result in half the cases surveyed.

Improper antibiotic use is far too prevalent

Maryland patients should be aware of a 2015 study's findings that misdiagnosis commonly leads to improper antibiotic treatment. Incorrect antibiotic use can cause harm to patients by reducing the effectiveness of the drugs in future treatment and raising health care costs. Approximately 56 percent of inpatient hospital treatment involves the use of antibiotic therapies, but such treatment is found to be unnecessary in nearly half of those cases, according to the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.

Misdiagnosis may lead to death

Maryland residents likely know that when physicians do not provide appropriate care, the patient might suffer consequences. There are reasons this happens, including giving a patient the wrong medication, not providing the proper treatment or not telling the patient risks associated with medication or procedures. More than one-half of malpractice cases involve misdiagnosis, and the most common conditions are heart conditions and cancer. Up to 48 percent of such cases end in death.

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