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Can Getting a Second Opinion Prevent a Misdiagnosis?

Posted By Regan Zambri Long, PLLC || 4-Oct-2017

Diagnostic errors are the most common mistake made by doctors. Considering that medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in the US, it is important to protect yourself while receiving medical care. Some people have argued that getting a second opinion from another doctor can reduce your chance of receiving an incorrect diagnosis. Are these claims true?

A new study published by Mayo Clinic maintains that receiving a second opinion can prevent medical errors in some cases. According to the study, which analyzed 286 medical records, second opinions are not always accurate. In some cases, the first diagnosis is correct and the second is wrong. Mayo Clinic’s study found that the original diagnosis was confirmed in 12 percent of cases. However, patients seeking a second opinion had a 66 percent chance of receiving a more complete diagnosis. In 21 percent of the cases, the first diagnosis was wrong and the second was correct.

Are Diagnostic Errors Medical Malpractice?

There are circumstances where diagnostic errors can cause horrendous outcomes for patients. You may occasionally read about such cases in the news. For example, a New York mother erroneously diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer had her left breast removed. It turns out she never had cancer. In other cases, patients may be diagnosed with a less serious illness that turns out to be cancer.

If you or a loved one suffered a similar outcome because of a diagnosis, then you should consult with an attorney. The diagnostic error may have occurred because you or your loved one did not receive the accepted standard of care. Depending on the circumstances, you could file a medical malpractice lawsuit.

The Washington DC medical malpractice lawyers at Regan Zambri Long, PLLC have helped victims of medical malpractice and their families hold hospitals accountable for medical mistakes.

Categories: Medical Malpractice
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