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What are the implications of medical misdiagnosis?

Medical misdiagnosis is one type of malpractice that affects people throughout Montana and across the United States. When you go into an outpatient clinic or the emergency room, you expect to be treated and given a diagnosis by medical professionals. However, there may be a time when you are given the wrong diagnosis or are not given a diagnosis at all. Not only can this lead to further problems as the undiagnosed condition worsens, but you may experience significant effects from the treatment you are taking for the wrong diagnosed condition.

For example, a medical professional could misread a cloud on a lung x-ray to be pneumonia when in all actuality, it is cancer. As you receive treatment for pneumonia, the cancer may worsen or even spread to other parts of the body. Another instance may occur where you have a body part removed in error because it was thought to be causing the problem. If the doctor would have performed the correct tests, however, he or she would have found that the problem originated from another area.

When people are misdiagnosed, they may be given prescription medication that could have unpleasant side effects that could affect their quality of life when they do not need to take the medication at all. They may also undergo unnecessary surgical procedures that they must then recover from. Misdiagnosis can accrue excessive medical expenses and could cause long-term problems including permanent injuries and even death.

This information should be used for educational reasons and should not be taken as legal advice.

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