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Report highlights serious diagnostic errors

If you are like a lot of people in California, you may have wondered about the accuracy of test result information provided to you by a doctor or other medical professional. You may have been told that a test result came back showing no signs of a problem, yet you continue to experience unpleasant symptoms. Whether you pursue additional testing or a doctor suggests other tests after your problem escalates and eventually a diagnosis is reached, you may lose valuable time to treat your problem.

This is just one of the issues facing patients today according to a report recently released by an insurance provider. Radiology Business reports that the insurer conducted a study of more than 10,000 medical malpractice claims involving radiological testing and found that the results of tests were inaccurately read eight of out 10 of times. Lung cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and pancreatic cancer were among the diseases most often connected to these errors.

To make matters worse, patients in 80 percent of the missed diagnoses cases either died or were left with permanent injuries. The report identified some steps that could be taken to reduce the number of these types of mistakes, but it is not known if or when such changes may be made. 

If you would like to learn more about the factors that may contribute to a missed or incorrect medical diagnosis and your options for help if such an error occurs, please feel free to visit the diagnostic mistakes page of our California medical malpractice website.

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