How many of us have faced misdiagnoses by medical professionals or at least knew someone who had? It is quite a few which should never happen. We go to our medical professionals with complete trust. We want to put our lives in their hands, but that might not always be the best thing.
High Number Of Misdiagnoses
In today’s world, you would think the number of misdiagnoses would be pretty small. Sad to say, it is pretty high. Way too many patients are misdiagnosed and treated incorrectly. Often it leads to death. It has been noted that these are not just random occurrences.
It is noted by the IOM that there are 12 million misdiagnoses a year. (Mercola) Not twelve. 12 million! This isn’t a number to sneeze at. It is very serious. That’s a lot of people. Dr. Mercola reports that 10% of misdiagnosis lead to “patient deaths and 17 percent of adverse events in hospitals.” All of this leads to added healthcare cost, wasted time, and wasted treatments. This opens up quite a few questionable doors.
Dangers of Misdiagnoses
There are so many dangers to being misdiagnosed. Obviously, there is death. If the doctors aren’t treating the right danger, it could kill the patient. They are going to the doctors to avoid that. We trust the doctors to cure us, not to kill us. But there is the danger of death because doctors misdiagnose us.
If we manage to avoid death, we find that our health declines because it takes so long to get the right diagnoses. Doctors spend too much time chasing the wrong clues which leaves the diseases to grow at whatever pace they desire.
Nothing good can come out of being misdiagnosed. Patients can die, develop long-term disabilities, or create more problems than they should have. This doesn’t even address how it impacts everyone monitarily.
The Possible True Reason for High Healthcare Costs
My husband went to the ER for chest pains. Everything was textbook for heart problems, but all the tests came up clean. Doctors sent him home after an overnight stay to keep an eye on him. A week later, he was back in the hospital. More tests were run. Nothing appeared alarming aside from his symptoms. This went on for nearly a year. Only after arguing with doctors did they actually do a heart cath and to quote the doctor, “He should be already be dead.”
I’m in the process of determining how many thousands of dollars was spent with doctors refusing to see that my husband was about to have a heart attack. The total cost would have been a fraction of what it was in the end if the doctors had not tried to say that my husband just needed to see a shrink.
By misdiagnosing my husband, they nearly killed him and cost us and our healthcare company thousands of dollars.
What You Can Do?
This is a very important question we should all explore. Too many of us feel helpless. That’s because the system is designed to make us feel that way. But I’m here to tell you that if you make enough noise, you will be heard. It is just stressful along the way.
Ask questions. Don’t accept everything you are told. Doctors are not infallible. They make mistakes. They are only human. If you don’t understand something, ask more questions. Get them to describe it to you in a way you can understand.
Research. Even if you feel confident in your doctors, research what they are saying. Get a better understanding. By doing so, you’ll be prepared to ask more informed questions. This will also enable you to know if you are not getting the right care. Because I had researched the heart before, I was able to counter many of the doctors over my husband and eventually saved his life.
Demand answers. Don’t accept evasive comments. I had a doctor inform me that I should not ask so many questions because he had his MD and I did not. He was correct in the degree area, but I had the right to ask questions and receive answers. Especially since we found out in the end that he was wrong. If any doctor avoids your questions, ask someone else. Get answers!
Get Second, Third and More Opinions. If you don’t like what you hear, ask for another opinion. Many systems will not allow you to get a second opinion within the same system. You have to go outside that system which is timeconsuming on purpose. Don’t let that dissuade you. I made enough noise once not to leave the system and got another opinion within the same system. Sad to say that it had to be the threat of calling a lawyer to get it, but it helped save my husband from having a deathly heart attack.
The Need for Advocates
Advocates are needed. There used to be a patient advocate in each hospital you could turn to. I found out the hard way that they do not exist anymore. There are no advocates. You can only turn to your nurse who communicates your concerns. That has got to change.
Patients need an advocate to fight for them in the hospitals without it being a lawyer. When the lawyers get involved, expenses increase, and it can bet dirty. We want to avoid that if possible.
If the healthcare system is going to lower costs and get better, patients need advocates in their corner. I talked with several people in the medical profession. Each one said that they felt that the healthcare system was on a downward spiral because it really wasn’t about the patient. It was about the bottom line financially.
Don’t assume doctors know it all. Educate yourself. Ask questions. Get another opinion. Push back if you feel you are not getting the care you deserve and are paying for.
Remember that this is your life. Don’t let the medical professional get away with misdiagnosing you or your loved ones. Be your own advocate if there is no one else there to help you.