In medical circles, the Big Three diseases are cancer, vascular conditions and infections. Sadly, people in Texas need to be aware that even these common medical problems are often misdiagnosed, at least at first. As many as 10% of patients with a Big Three condition will have to deal with a delayed or misdiagnosis.
The Big Three
The Big Three are some of the most frequently seen conditions in patients. But they’re also the three that are misdiagnosed the most. The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine recently funded a study to explore this phenomenon. They found that within the large categories of infection, cancer and vascular conditions, people with unusual problems were more likely to be misdiagnosed.
For example, patients with rare cancers were more likely to have a delayed diagnosis than people with common cancers. This is understandable in some ways. Doctors are trained to think horses, not zebras, when they hear hooves. This means that if they encounter a common symptom, they’re meant to rule out a common cause first.
However, the problem is that delayed and missed diagnoses lead to poor patient outcomes. Almost 54% of patients who are misdiagnosed suffer a serious disability or even death because of it. Luckily, the Coalition to Improve Diagnosis is working to get these numbers down. The Coalition is made up of dozens of large organizations around the country. All of them are committed to better diagnostic outcomes for patients.
If you or a loved one have been impacted by a delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis, it’s a good idea to contact a lawyer. Attorneys who work in med mal can help patients understand if they have a malpractice case worth pursuing. Victims of medical malpractice can be entitled to damages for their pain and suffering, among other issues.