Every year, many Georgia residents are misdiagnosed with medical conditions. While some of these mistakes may be relatively minor and quickly corrected, others may lead to severely worsened health or even death. Across the country, around 12 million people are affected by some type of medical diagnostic error every year, and up to 80,000 people lose their lives as a result of these mistakes. People may receive incorrect medications that cause serious side effects, especially if they do not have the disease in question. Other people may have their complaints of pain and discomfort brushed aside by medical professionals who do not take them seriously.
One of the most serious kinds of medical misdiagnoses is the failure to diagnose a progressive disease like cancer. Because cancer generally grows and worsens with time, early detection and treatment may be key to a successful outcome. Even patients who survive may go through a much more grueling experience if their cancer is not detected until later in its development. In some cases, people went to the doctor and even had tests, but their cancer was not detected due to negligence.
Stereotypes and social issues may also play a role. Studies show that women and people of color are up to 30% more likely to be misdiagnosed. Both groups of people have had their complaints of pain dismissed or minimized by the medical system historically. In addition, some doctors may rely on generalizations about who is more likely to suffer from certain types of illnesses.
Misdiagnoses and other medical errors can lead to serious problems, including worsened health, unnecessary side effects and prolonged suffering. A medical malpractice attorney may provide advice about how victims may seek compensation for their losses.