Medical Malpractice Diagnostic Errors and Second Opinions
A growing number of hospitals and medical professionals now recommend that patients who receive a diagnosis for a serious disease obtain a second opinion. Our Atlanta medical malpractice attorneys agree that this is an effective way to help prevent unnecessary treatment, or the failure to properly treat a disease.
Wrong diagnosis or misdiagnoses happen far too often in the United States. These errors can occur for a number of reasons. For instance, many diagnostic errors are caused because healthcare providers such pathologists and radiologists interpret scans or x-rays incorrectly. Other times, our medical negligence attorneys discover errors that are caused because doctors are so set on one type of diagnosis that they ignore other possible causes of symptoms.
In some cases, health professionals absolutely recommend that patients get a 2nd opinion. For instance when a patient receives a diagnosis of cancer, he or she should always get a 2nd opinion. According to officials at M.D. Anderson, approximately one quarter of patients who arrive at the hospital with a diagnosis of cancer later receive a different diagnosis altogether. Sometimes doctors misdiagnose a disease, while in other cases there may be an error in diagnosing the intensity or severity of the disease. This can dramatically impact the kind of treatments that the patient needs to undergo, and the long-term effects on their overall health and wellness.
It is also especially important to have second opinions for commonly misdiagnosed diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. According to one study by the National Jewish Health in Denver, 50% of patients diagnosed with chronic pulmonary disease had earlier been diagnosed with untreated asthma. These types of statistics are very concerning.
Second opinions can make a significant difference to a person's diagnosis, which automatically leads to different recommendations or treatment options. However, regardless of whether or not a second opinion was obtained, patients deserve accurate and quality medical treatment, and should be able to rely on their health care providers to treat them properly.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a doctor, nurse, or physician assistant’s error, contact the Atlanta medical malpractice lawyers at Katz Wright Fleming Dodson & Mildenhall LLC today at (404) 460-0101. All information is kept strictly confidential, and there is no fee for your initial consultation. We handle medical error cases across the state of Georgia, including Columbus, Johns Creek, Atlanta, Marietta, and Conyers.