As many as 12 million patients in Arizona and throughout America are misdiagnosed every year. This is according to the Armstrong Institute Center for Diagnostic Excellence at Johns Hopkins. Roughly a quarter of a million people die from a medical error each year. Mistakes may include misdiagnoses, diagnoses that come too late or doctors prescribing the wrong type of treatment.
The issue of medical errors and their impact on patients has long been a focus in the medical community. In 1999, a report called "To Err Is Human" was the first analysis to find that the health care system in the United States could be made safer. Despite increased reporting and improved technology, people are still put in danger because of how they are treated as opposed to the medical issues that they may have.
Patients are encouraged to play a leading role in their care to reduce the odds of a mistake. They should ask their doctors if any other medical conditions could explain their symptoms to increase the odds of a proper diagnosis. Patients are also encouraged to ask questions about their medications and never to assume that test results were normal just because they didn't hear back from a doctor.
If doctor negligence resulted in a patient not receiving a proper or timely diagnosis, that victim may be entitled to compensation. Negligence might occur if a doctor overlooked symptoms or failed to order tests that could have led to a definitive diagnosis. Compensation could pay for medical bills or be used to recover lost wages and future earnings. Cases can be resolved through a settlement or formal trial.