Strong Advocates
For the Injured And For A Safer Iowa

How dangerous is misdiagnosis?

A healthcare misdiagnosis isn’t just a setback. It could cost your life. Correctly labeling and treating a disease early is essential, but some of the biggest leaders in deaths also top the list of diagnostic errors.

Vascular disease has historically been one of the leading causes of death in Iowa. Cancer comes close behind, and infectious diseases also make the list. Known as the “Big Three,” doctors often mistake these common killers for other ailments. And when that costs time in treatment, healing only gets harder.

Unhealthy mistakes

Medical misdiagnosis cases across the country could number into the millions every year, and the Big Three make up the lion’s share. These three diseases result in around 74% of all serious failed diagnoses:

  • Vascular events: Heart disease and stroke are often preventable but remain a leading cause of death for Americans. This could be in no small part to nearly a quarter of medical mistakes going to vascular events. Pains and discomforts may be cast aside as minor issues when the problem could be imminently life-threatening.
  • Cancer: The most common form of missed markers, cancers make up around 38% percent of errors. While early detection might increase the likelihood of success during treatment, mistakes in uncovering serious cancers can come with enormous costs.
  • Infections: The body can fight off infections with medical help, but time could be essential. One of the most misdiagnosed problems in the infectious category is sepsis, which requires speedy treatment. Delays from a bad call could result in serious complications or death.

Uncovering the source of your troubles is a crucial first step in getting better. When the evidence is there for the taking, and your doctor doesn’t meet their duty and standard of care, you may have an avenue for recovery.