Despite having state-of-the-art medical facilities and top medical professionals, medical malpractice is a continuing problem for Oregon patients. Demonstrative of this problem are new figures released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the CDC, 40% of the population are under the impression that their doctor has misdiagnosed one of their medical conditions.
The figures undoubtedly show a lack of trust in the medical field. However, this seems to be a necessity on behalf of patients. The Institute of Medicine has found that more patients die each year from medical malpractice that highway accidents, AIDS or breast cancer.
Misdiagnosis is one of the leading causes of malpractice claims. The failure to diagnose a simple medical condition can cause serious and terminal health problems. For example, one 70-year-old patient began to suffer extensive should pain. She loved to garden and was diagnosed with a muscle strain. The doctor advised her to rest and take muscle relaxers. The patient finally got a second opinion after 6 months of pain. After conducting a series of tests, her new doctor determined that she suffered from advanced stage lung cancer. The delayed treatment made the cancer too late to treat. She passed away several months later.
This sad story is unfortunately more common than most Oregonians would like to believe. If a patient has suffered a misdiagnosis, they are the victim of malpractice. Doctors have a duty to provide competent medical care to their patients. Whether it is due to a lack of time, stress or being overworked, misdiagnosis must be taken seriously. Patients’ lives are at stake when doctors commit negligence. Medical malpractice claims are a way to hold medical professionals responsible for their mistakes.
Source: Hive Health Media, “Need a second opinion? How to rule out malpractice,” Molly P., June 23, 2013