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Patients should stay involved to avoid misdiagnosis

Diagnostic errors are a serious problem in the United States. Studies suggest that more than 12 million adults seeking medical attention are given the wrong diagnosis every year. The numbers are even higher when looking at children. At least half of these misdiagnoses end in serious injuries or death. Many experts complain, however, that little is being done to improve the problem. When people are not able to receive a diagnosis and a treatment plan that is helping them to improve their situation and heal, they should take action to seek other answers that might lead to a solution. When patients stay active in their healthcare, they know when they are not receiving the medical attention they need.

If patients feel as though they have not received the right diagnosis, they should seek a second, third or fourth opinion. Not every doctor may have the right answer, as there are more than 10,000 conditions that can be diagnosed and more than 200 being added every year. With over 5,000 potential laboratory tests that may be ordered by a physician, not every doctor may be the right one to find the proper diagnosis.

There are many cases where a patient is experiencing a set of symptoms and is given a diagnosis based off of those symptoms. While they are being treated for the wrong diagnosis, however, the true problem intensifies and, in some cases, can lead to a point where it is too late. Although medical staff may be to blame when immediate action is not taken when the wrong diagnosis is given, patients should remain active in their healthcare and insist on finding answers.

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