Saturday, July 08, 2006


Misdiagnosis : "Misdiagnosis can and does occur and is reasonably common with error rates ranging from 1.4% in cancer biopsies to a high 20-40% misdiagnosis rate in emergency or ICU care. Surveys of patients also indicate the chance of experiencing a misdiagnosis to range from 8% to 40%. This makes misdiagnosis one of the most common types of medical mistakes.There are various reasons as to why a misdiagnosis can occur including errors by doctors, specialists, and laboratory tests. The patient can also contribute to an error in various ways. There are various types of misdiagnosis ranging from a totally wrong diagnosis to a partial misdiagnosis as to the wrong subtype, underlying condition, medication causes, related conditions, or complications. Conditions for which a person never seeks medical advice are also a common type of misdiagnosis.
Misdiagnosis does not occur equally for all conditions but follows certain patterns. Some conditions are inherently more difficult to diagnose, whereas common familiar conditions are less commonly misdiagnosed. Some diseases are over-diagnosed whereas other conditions are more commonly under-diagnosed or overlooked."
A misdisgnosis can be a doctor's nightmare - and a patient's as well. This is a very well-written review on the common causes for misdiagnosis; and what you can do to protect yourself !

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