Approximately 12 million patients in this county, approximately 5%, are misdiagnosed in outpatient settings each year. Estimates also show that 40,000 to 80,000 patients die each year from misdiagnosis. Most people will face a missed or delayed diagnosis sometime in their lives, according to a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine report.
Most common misdiagnosis
The JAMA Network Network Open compiled a list of the 10 most common missed or delayed diagnosis based on a review of 836 relevant cases from medical malpractice claims, mortality round conferences that review patient fatalities and complications and focus-group responses.
The 10 most common misdiagnosed medical conditions are:
- Colorectal cancer
- Lung cancer
- Breast cancer
- Myocardial infarction or heart attack
- Bladder cancer
- Pulmonary embolism
- Brain hemorrhage
A few other conditions are also repeatedly misdiagnosed in other research:
- Heart failure
- Kidney failure
- Urinary tract infections
- Aortic aneurysm
A missed diagnosis, such as back pain being misdiagnosed as muscle pain when it is really osteoarthritis, does not have long-term consequences. But missing serious conditions such as vascular events, infections and cancers can have devastating consequences.