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Most misdiagnosed medical conditions and what to do

On Behalf of | Apr 29, 2022 | Firm News, Medical Malpractice

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.